Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Taco Goo

“Taco Goo” is a favorite of ours and its really versatile.  We start with using it to stuff roasted bell peppers, but we make plenty of extra, and use it in taco salads, or on top of nachos, or make a tortilla chip dip out of it.  Some of those preparations are less fattening than others…

We usually stuff 4 peppers, but this recipe will make enough goo for at least 8.

Roasted Bell Peppers

  • 2-8 Large bell peppers

Heat the oven to 375ºF.

Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and remove the guts.  Remove the stem from the tops and cut the tops into the medium dice, reserving them for the Taco Goo recipe.

Place the peppers in a baking dish and roastfor 30-40 minutes.

Taco Goo

  • ~1 lb ground beef — I like 85/15
  • ¼-½ lb ground chorizo — depends how spicy you like it
  • 1 package taco seasoning — or make your own
  • ~1 Tbsp olive oil or peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced medium
  • Diced bell pepper tops, from above
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced medium
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes– I love Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes with chipotles for this
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 4-8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, cubed  — or Oaxaca cheese, if you’re feeling fancy

Toss the onions and peppers in half of the taco seasoning.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat.  Add the ground beef and chorizo, breaking it up.  Add remaining half of the taco seasoning, working it into the meat with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned.  Remove meat from the pan, retaining as much of the deliciously seasoned fat in the pan as you can.

Add onions and peppers to the pan and cook until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic, and cook for a minute.   Add the meat back to the pan, and also the beans and corn.  Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and simmer until the desired consistency.

Remove from heat and add the cheese and stir, until it starts to melt.

Stuff goo into peppers and serve.

 

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Green Beans with Ground Chorizo

This recipe is so simple but so delicious.  The beans are steamed until just tender, and the chorizo adds all the spice they need.

I have trouble getting full-sized green beans tender enough just through sauteeing like I can with haricots verts — they’re just too big.  So I figured I’d use the pan-steaming technique that I use to make carrots.  I started with this recipe from Noshtopia, but used chicken broth instead of water.

I want to try making this by including some fire-roasted peppers too — I think that would go well.

Green Beans with Ground Chorizo

  • 1 lb green beans
  • ½ lb ground chorizo
  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
  • ~1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp chicken broth

Tip and tail the green beans, and cut them into 1½-2″ pieces.  Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat and add the onions.  Cook them until softening and turning translucent.  Add the chorizo to the onions and break up and cook until brown.  Add the green beans and stir to toss them in with the chorizo and onions and saute for a minute or so.  Add the chicken broth and cover immediately to capture the steam.

Cook covered for a few minutes, then remove the lid and let the rest of the broth cook off.  The longer you steam them, the more tender they’ll be — you’ll just have to experiment to get your desired crunchiness / tenderness.

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Crispy Pork Bites with Sauteed Broccoli

This recipe comes in part from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, which, for a while, was my I’m-not-sophisticated-enough-for-The-Joy-Of-Cooking cookbook.  Anyway, I have an older version than the one I linked to, so I don’t know if this recipe is in there anymore.

This recipe tosses cubed pork shoulder and diced onions in a marinade, then roasts it in the oven until the pork is tasty and juicy and tender.

In the fat old days, I’d serve this mixed with rice.  The pork by itself is good, but it benefits from something to break it up.  So I tried some broccoli, which I cooked until soft and tender, and I think it turned out great.

Crispy Pork Bites

  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder (butt) roast
  • 1 onion, diced medium
  • 1 T olive or peanut oil
  • 1 T cumin
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • zest and juice of one lemon (you can use lemon juice if you don’t have a lemon)

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Cut the pork into ¾-1″ cubes.  Trim excess fat, but each piece should have some marbling of fat in it.  Combine the pork, onion with the oil, spices and lemon ingredients.  You can cook it right away, but I like to let it marinate for a little while.

Put everything into a baking dish in a single layer, and cook for one hour, until the sauce is reduced and thick, and the pork is browning.  Every 20 minutes, I like to toss the pork around with a wooden spoon so it cooks evenly.

Sauteed Broccoli

  • 2-3 heads broccoli
  • ~ 1T Olive oil
  • ~1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic

Cut the broccoli into stems and florets.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and add the stems.  Cook for 3 minutes then add the florets, and cook for another 5-6 minutes.  Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Heat oil in a saute pan.  Add the paprika and salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Add the broccoli and garlic and saute until the broccoli gets browned at the edges.

Combine the pork bites and sauce with the broccoli, and serve.

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Hot Ham Paste (Ham and Black Bean Soup)

Hambone…Hambone…Hambone!

On Christmas, I made a fabulous Bourbon Cider Glazed Ham, and of course I ended up with a hambone left over.  That means it’s time for soup!  I started with this recipe from Three Many Cooks, but it turned into Hot Ham Paste — it looks like paste, with a smack of ham!  Actually, it has a porky, smoky, earthy taste to it, with a little bit of heat that builds as you eat it.  I really just wanted to run with the Arrested Development joke there.

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Brussels Sprout Prosciutto Bites

One can only eat so many bacon-wrapped dates or chorizo-and-cream-cheese-stuffed jalapeños.  Well, that’s not true but play along, okay?  We were invited to a New Years gathering, and I wanted to try a new appetizer, rather than my (delicious) standby’s.

My friend Kim sent me a link to 101 Bite-Size Party Foods, and that’s where I found a link to this fabulous recipe.  I had roasted Brussels sprouts for the first time on Thanksgiving, and I’ve been a convert ever since.  The prosciutto just adds

Brussels Sprout Prosciutto Bites

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 lb prosciutto
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 400ºF.  Rinse off the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half.  Toss them with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Arrange them face down (or face up) on a foil-lined roasting pan.  Roast for 20 minutes, then flip over, and roast for 10-20 more minutes.  You’ll probably be afraid you’re burning them, but you want them well-cooked and caramelized and well-browned around the edges.

Meanwhile, chop the prosciutto into chunks and cook in a skillet over medium heat until it gets crispy.  You dont’t need any oil — the prosciutto will release enough fat as it cooks.

Assemble the Brussels sprouts like a sandwich, with two sprout halves as the bread and a bit of prosciutto in the middle, all held together by a toothpick.  Try not to eat too many when you’re assembling them.

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Breakfast Crepes

Lots of leftover ham means ham and egg and cheese crepes for breakfast!

I used something halfway between the “Basic Sweet Crepes” and “Basic Savory Crepes” recipe from the Joy of Cooking.

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Christmas Dinner 2012

Dinner is served!

Christmas Dinner 2012 was a decadent feast featuring:

And for dessert:

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