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.

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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!

Jamie’s Bad Day Spicy Meatballs

spicymeatballs

Ever have one of those days where you just need some feel good food that makes both your heart and your taste buds happy? My friend Jamie sent me this recipe for just that. I made it on a Monday and it was just what the day needed. I mean really… who doesn’t feel better after spaghetti and meatballs? Especially ones filled with basil and spicy Italian sausage.

Ingredients:
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh basil, chopped
19 oz package spicy Italian sausage links

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Mix together the 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
3) Remove sausage from their casings and add to bowl. Stir in basil and mix together well with your hands.
4) Grease a baking sheet and form meatballs (makes around 18-20).
5) Bake for 20 minutes and serve with spaghetti and marinara, or some veggies and fresh bread. And feel better!

Crispy Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

saltandvinegarpotatoes

 

It’s safe to say we have a potato side dish at least once a week. And regular old roasted potatoes and mashed potatoes are delicious, but I wanted something a little different. This side dish from Bon Appetit was simple and had great flavor. Try them with steak!

Ingredients:
2 lbs baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved (quartered if large)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tbsp unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Directions:
1) Combine potatoes, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 tbsp kosher salt in a medium saucepan. Add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20–25 minutes; drain and pat dry.
2) Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes.
3) Drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp vinegar. Serve topped with chives and more salt.

Pioneer Woman’s Beef with Peppers

beefwithpeppers

Man oh man was this good. And it was fast – but tasted like you put some TLC into it and spent a while in the kitchen. Whip this up on a weeknight instead of takeout! I exactly halved this recipe for us, and it made two generous dinner portions with lunch leftovers. The recipe below will serve closer to 6-8.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pound flank steak, sliced very thin against the grain (this is very important to prevent the steak from being chewy)
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sriracha
2 tbsp canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon diced fresh jalapeno
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced into rings
1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced into rings
cilantro leaves

Directions:
1) Combine soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, and sriracha in bowl. Add sliced beef and toss to coat. Set aside.
2). Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once very hot, throw in the onions and cook for less than a minute. Remove to a separate plate. Bring skillet back to very hot, and add bell peppers and jalapeno. Cook for one minute, until peppers begin to brown. Remove to a separate plate.
3) Bring the skillet back up to high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add 1/3 of the meat mixture to the skillet, spreading out evenly. (Don’t throw away the sauce.) Cook for 30 seconds, then flip with tongs. Cook for another 30 seconds, then remove to a separate plate. Repeat until all meat is cooked.
4) Reduce heat to low. Return the meat and peppers and onions to the skillet. Pour in the sauce the meat marinated in. Simmer on low heat for a few minutes while sauce thickens. Turn off heat.
5) Serve with rice or stir fry noodles, topped with cilantro leaves.

 

Best Roasted Broccoli

 

roastedbroccoli

Make as much or as little of this as you’d like! I could have eaten an entire baking sheet by myself I loved this broccoli so much. Adjust the ingredients to your palate and enjoy!

Ingredients:
A few heads of broccoli
A few cloves of garlic, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
Panko breadcrumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1) Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces, including the stems – they are tasty too!
2) Toss broccoli, garlic, oil, salt and pepper, and panko together in a bowl.
3) Roast for 10 minutes or so on 425.
4) Take out the broccoli and sprinkle on some Parmesan, then roast for another minute or two.

Stuffed Shells

stuffedshells

It’s hard to beat Italian comfort food, and stuffed shells are just that. These cheesy stuffed shells are covered in a meaty sauce and are great served with a simple salad and garlic bread. Thanks, Pioneer Woman! Made a few minor adjustments for my own personal taste, such as San Marzano tomatoes, a little less sugar, and a little red pepper for some heat. If you can find San Marzano tomatoes at the store, I highly recommend them!

Ingredients:
8 0z jumbo pasta shells (not quite a whole box)
30 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
8 oz (one container) grated Parmesan, divided
1/2 cup grated or shredded Romano cheese
1 whole egg
12 basil leaves, chiffonade
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, divided
kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp evoo
1/2 white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1/2 cup red wine
28 oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
15 oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
crushed red pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
1) Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time. Drain and rinse in cool water and set aside.
2) Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add Italian sausage and cook until brown, breaking up into small pieces.
3) Pour in red wine and cook for another minute or two.
4) Pour in cans of tomatoes and stir. Add sugar, salt, and red pepper, then bring to a boil. Once just boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5) While the sauce is cooking, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil and 2 tbsp parsley in a bowl. Stir until combined.
6) Preheat oven to 350, and spray a baking dish with Pam. Once the sauce is done, pour some over the bottom of the baking dish to coat. Then fill each shell with the cheese mixture and place face down on the sauce. Repeat with remaining shells. Top all the shells with the remaining sauce, and then sprinkle on the rest of the Parmesan and parsley.
7) Bake for 25 minutes.

 

Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Pecan Pie

jackdanielschocolatepecanpie

This is exactly as good as it sounds.

Ingredients:
9-inch frozen pie crust in foil baking tin, thawed per package directions
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups pecan halves

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the corn syrup, melted butter, and Jack Daniel’s until well combined.
3) Sprinkle 1/3 cup chocolate chips over the bottom of the pie crust. Pour pie filling over top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans over filling. Then sprinkle the remaining chocolate pieces, and top with remaining 3/4 cup pecans.
4) Bake the pie for 50-55 minutes. When done, turn off oven, but leave the pie in with the door closed for an extra 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours.

 


Found in Food to Die For by Patricia Cornwell.