Tag Archives: Game Day

Southwestern Turkey Sliders #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week is Tantalizing Trays, which made me think of game day food, probably because that’s where my brain is anyway seeing as COLLEGE FOOTBALL started this weekend!!! I cannot wait to see my Baylor Bears beat up on SMU tonight!!

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When thinking about what to make this week, I also realized I’ve been somewhat neglecting sliders on this website, so I figured this was as good an excuse as any to remedy that. And thus, enter these delicious, adorable Tex-Mex-inspired turkey sliders – flavorful, moist, and adaptable to your tastes and preferences. Perfect for game day, or any other party that calls for trays of delectable little bites. Enjoy!

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And do not forget to see what my Sunday Supper gang has brought for you!

{One Year Ago: Kansas City Barbecued Spare Ribs}
{Two Years Ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Grilled Salmon with Tamarind-Peach Barbecue Sauce, Strawberry Scones with an Almond Glaze}

Source: adapted from Emeril at the Grill by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:
Canola oil, for the grill grates
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1 small red onion, peeled and grated
2 scallions, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded if desired, minced or grated
1 ½ tbs All-Purpose Mexican/Tex-Mex Spice Mix, or your favorite Mexican seasoning blend
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
12 mini hamburger buns or slider rolls, split and toasted if desired
Garnishes of your choice: lettuce, tomato, avocado, thinly sliced red onion, ketchup, sour cream, chipotle mayonnaise, mustard

Directions:
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Rub some canola oil on a folded paper towel and rub it all over the grill grates when ready to grill.
In a large bowl, add the turkey, onion, scallions, jalapeno, spice rub, Worcestershire, olive oil, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Using your clean hands, mix everything together gently but thoroughly. Be wary of overmixing, this will make your sliders tough.
Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, and using your wet hands, shape them into 12 small burgers, each about 3 ½ inches wide. Use your forefinger to make a slight impression in the center of each slider, to prevent “burger bulge” when they cook.
Place the burgers on the grill and cook until the turkey is just cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a slider reads 165 F. Total cooking time is 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill. You may need to cook these in batches – don’t crowd the grill or you will steam the sliders. Nasty.
Remove the sliders to a plate when done. And now it’s time to assemble! I placed a bit of lettuce on a bottom bun, then a slice of tomato, then a slider patty. I liberally spread chipotle mayonnaise on the top burger buns, then topped them in place. Stick a toothpick in the center of each and dig in!

Savory Bites:

Sweet Treats:

Pepperoni Pizza Toasties

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Today is a very happy day. Why? Because it’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day, woohoo! This month I was assigned Annie’s Noms. Annie is the beautiful lady behind this baking-centric, UK-based blog. Annie lives in the UK with her adorable boyfriend, where they split the kitchen duties: she bakes, he cooks.

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Though Annie successfully obtained a degree in interior design, her heart belongs to baking. She blogs full-time, and has filled her page with insanely scrumptious, delectable baked treats. So of course, contrarian that I am, I had to pick one of the savory recipes on her site.

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These little pepperoni pizzas are simple, familiar (flavor-wise), and yet they couldn’t be more delicious. They are so cute, so easy to eat (maybe too easy!), and surprisingly addictive. Annie originally wrote this recipe for the oven, but I ended up grilling them. It was 78 F and sunny without a cloud in the sky. I mean, really, what choice did I have?

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Either way will work just fine, and I’ll include directions for both methods. Enjoy these, guys! And be sure to check out Annie’s fantastic blog!

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{One Year Ago: Creamy Cantaloupe and Guanciale Pasta, Zucchini Snack Cake, Mexico City Street Corn, No-Cook Tomato-Basil Pasta Sauce, Vegan Blueberry Muffins}

Source: adapted from Annie’s Noms

Ingredients:
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced about 1-2 inches thick, on a diagonal (to get more bread surface per toast)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
6 oz. melty cheese, such as cheddar, low-moisture mozzarella, or fontina, shredded
About half a package of pepperoni slices

Directions:
Pour the tomato sauce into a small saucepan. Add the Italian seasoning, plus salt and pepper to taste. Warm on medium-low to low heat. Don’t let it boil, you just want it warm.
OVEN METHOD: preheat your oven to 400 F (or 200 C). Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet (use 2 if necessary). Toast the bread in the oven for just a few minutes; this is just to avoid the bread getting soggy with the toppings.
Remove the bread from the oven and spoon about a tbs of tomato sauce on each toast. Top with a nice pinch of cheese and spread it evenly. Lay 2-3 pepperoni slices per toast on top of the cheese. Bake 7-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove and serve immediately.
GRILL METHOD: make a 2-zone fire, with one side a bit hotter than the other. Working in batches if necessary, grill the toasts on one side until nicely toasted, about 3 minutes on the hot side. With tongs, remove to a plate, flipping them as you move them, so the toasted side is facing up on the plates. Add the tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni as instructed for the oven method. Carefully add them back to the hot zone, for 2-3 minutes. Make sure you’re not burning them. If the cheese has melted, then remove the toasts to a plate. If the cheese isn’t completely melted, then move the toast to the less-hot zone of the grill and leave them there for a few more minutes, until they are nicely melted. Remove to a plate and serve.


Chipotle Pinto Bean Dip with Jicama “Chips” + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Welcome back! This week I am giving away my surprise excess copy of Mark Bittman’s The VB6 Cookbook! And each day of blogging, I’m sharing a delicious recipe from the book, to give you a taste of what you’ll be getting if you win. The giveaway goes on until Friday at 5 pm EST, and you can enter at the bottom of this post – don’t miss out!

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Yesterday I shared his insane Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs – totally vegan, and beyond delicious. I was in awe. Today I’m sharing one of the snacks chapter recipes. I have a huge weakness for bean dips, and they are super easy to make at home. Being from Texas, Frito scoops are quite common and popular for use as a dipper. Tasty? Oh yes. Healthy? Ummm, not really.

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So I was incredibly pleased to see Bittman’s take on what the heck we should be using to scoop up creamy, spicy bean dip. He had several, but the idea that really jumped out at me was jicama. Jicama! Yes! Why didn’t I ever think of that? Jicama is perfect for bean dips. It’s crispy, it’s sturdy, and it’s commonly used in Mexican or Tex-Mex cooking, so it doesn’t feel out of place at all. I am seriously doing this again.

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A quick warning about the bean dip: you can use one chipotle in adobo or two. It will surprise no one that I used two, and I can assure you it is super spicy that way. If you’re not into the heat, definitely use only one! enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Grilled Romaine Hearts with Bacon Blue Cheese Vinaigrette}

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1-2 chipotle in adobo, plus a little bit of the adobo sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced into discs, like chips

Directions:
Put all the ingredients except the scallions and jicama into your blender. Puree until very smooth, adding water if it’s too thick and not completely cooperating.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Transfer the dip to a bowl and garnish with the scallions. Serve with the jicama “chips” for dipping.

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Authentic Southern Cornbread

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Continuing on this week’s theme of The South, I’m sharing another American Deep South recipe, and for the American Deep South, it just doesn’t get more iconic than cornbread. No one who grew up between about West Virginia and west Texas doesn’t have too many memories to count of eating good ol’ proper Southern cornbread; you eat them at picnics, it’s a standard side at barbecue restaurants, and sometimes just a side at dinner. Or an afternoon snack.

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But, Southerners are picky about how their cornbread is made: no sugar in the batter! This is of utmost importance. Cornbread is not cake. It is supposed to be served alongside your dinner, and therefore it cannot be sweetened at all. You serve wedges of cornbread hot out of the oven with a pat of butter slathered all over. That part is not optional.

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Like anyone who grew up in this general region, I ate my fair share of cornbread growing up (and probably a few others’ fair shares too, to be perfectly frank!). So I know beyond a doubt that not all southern cornbread is created equal. This may be blasphemous of me to say, but I actually understand why the Yankees started putting sugar in the batter, because there is a lot of dry cornbread out there. It’s shameful, but true. This recipe, however….. This cornbread is among the moistest cornbread I’ve ever tasted in my life. Strong statement, but 100% true.

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And to make an even stronger statement now: I think I may be done trying new cornbread recipes. This one might just be the one. It’s so unbelievably perfect. I’m absolutely thrilled to have it on my blog, even though it’s not my original recipe. Of course it’s Lisa’s. But if me sharing it puts it out there for even a few more people, then I’ve done a good deed for society. Never will you have dry cornbread again!

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{One Year Ago: Strawberry Spinach Salad, Strawberry Silver Dollar Pancakes}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
¼ cup lard, bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
2 cups yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups buttermilk, well shaken

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
While the oven is heating, put the lard or oil into a 10” cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven for a few minutes until the lard is melted and sizzling. Remove from the oven as soon as it is sizzling to avoid burning it.
Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium to large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined.
Take the cast-iron skillet and pour the batter into it. No need to stir anything. Immediately place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool just a few minutes, then slice into wedges and serve with pats of butter. The typical way is to take a regular butter knife and make a slit down the center of each wedge, lengthwise. Stick a pat of butter inside there. Then take another pat of butter and put it on the top of the cornbread. Slather it around as it’s melting for even coverage. Dig in!

Pimento Cheese and Bacon Burgers

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I think this week will be a themed week here on the blog, and our theme this week will be – The South! I suppose I could exaggerate a bit and tell you I carefully planned this out, but in reality, I was perusing my to-blog list of recipes and found three that had this in common. I’ll be sharing two recipes from the United States Deep South, followed by one from the south of France! So, there may be a little bit of “one of these is not like the others,” but on the other hand, you know what they say: “the South is the same everywhere!”

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Although I grew up with it, it’s only been recently that I’ve developed an appreciation for pimento cheese. Childhood Julie hated mayonnaise, so pimento cheese was persona non grata in my mouth. I’ve since come around, which is incredibly fortunate, because had I not, then I would’ve missed out on this insane burger!

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This one is fairly rich and decadent, yes, but well worth it for your splurge day. It’s very simple to throw together, as a plus, and I’m really glad these are filling, because had they not been, I would have eaten two of them. Y’all enjoy now.

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A quick recipe note: a major cheeseburger pet peeve of many is when the cheese is not completely melted. Don’t get too fussy about that with these burgers. Pimento cheese is not a melted cheese dish, so if it doesn’t melt all the way atop these burgers, it will not taste weird or have an off-putting texture at all.

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{One Year Ago: Sour Cherry Cobbler, Beer Margaritas}

Source: adapted from Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay:

Ingredients:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Kosher salt and black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
6 oz. sharp, yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
2 oz. jarred chopped pimentos, drained
1 ½ lbs. ground beef chuck
2 tbs canola oil, plus more for the grill grate
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
8 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp

Directions:
Whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add the cheese and pimentos and gently fold until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat your grill to high for direct heat grilling. Oil the grate.
For the meat into 4 evenly sized burger patties, and then make an indentation in the center of each with your thumb or forefinger. Brush both sides with canola oil, and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Place the burgers on the grill, not crowding them, and cook to medium, about 4 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking, spoon a dollop of pimento cheese on top of each burger and quickly spread it out with the back of the spoon. Cover, and cook 1 minute, until the cheese has just melted.
Remove the burgers from the grill and place each on the burger buns. Top the cheese with 2 slices of crispy bacon, then with the top bun. Serve immediately.

Margarita Glazed Baby Back Ribs

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I grew up in Texas (duh), and this past Memorial Day weekend served as a learning experience about growing up in Texas, which was the realization that I have *never* had pork ribs that weren’t smoked. Where I’m from, pork ribs equals barbecue, which equals smoked. Ribs on the grill use wood chips, and even oven baked barbecue ribs have liquid smoke in the ingredient list.

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These ribs are not smoked in any way. Grilled, yes. Smoked, no. So upon taking my first bite, I was so accustomed to that smoky flavor I automatically associate with pork ribs, that my knee jerk reaction was along the lines of “Oh god, what’s wrong with them?! Oh no, I screwed them up!” And then I took a second bite and realized that, no, they are actually quite tasty, and smoking ribs with a more delicate flavor profile such as this might be a bit weird.

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And then when I realized that these non-smoked ribs were quite the new phenomenon for me, I actually felt a tad silly, but then shrugged and kept eating them, due to the supreme deliciousness and all. It was a lovely switch-up from the regular barbecue types of pork ribs I’m more used to. And of course, you simply must serve these with margaritas. Is that even a choice? Enjoy!

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Some margarita drink ideas: Beer Margaritas; Mesa Grill Margaritas; Apple Cider Margaritas; Blood Orange Margaritas; Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas; and for dessert – Chocolate Margaritas!
You might also enjoy: Margarita Fish Tacos; Margarita Meringue Pie; Maple Glazed Baby Back Ribs; Kansas City Barbecued Spare Ribs

{One Year Ago: Cherry Almond Galette}

Source: Slightly adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, August/September 2011

Ingredients:

MARINADE:
Juice from 1 medium orange
2 tsp lime zest
Juice from 2 medium limes
¼ cup silver tequila
3 tbs dark agave syrup or honey
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs orange liqueur
2 tbs soy sauce
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs ancho chile powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 or 2 racks pork baby back ribs (about 1 ½ lbs. each) silver skin membrane removed *

GLAZE/SAUCE:
½ cup silver tequila
½ cup fresh orange juice (from 1 large orange)
¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
2 tbs dark agave syrup or honey
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

*This makes enough marinade and glaze for 2 racks of ribs. I used only 1 rack (small apartment sized grill) and then tossed 1 lb. of shrimp with the remainder. I also used half the glaze on the shrimp. You could also cut the marinade and glaze in half for 1 rack of ribs.

Directions:
First, marinate the ribs. In a medium bowl, whisk the orange juice, lime zest, lime juice, tequila, agave, oil, orange liqueur, soy sauce, garlic, chile powder, cumin, 1 tbs salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Cut each rack of ribs in half and place in a large resealable plastic baggie. Pour the marinade over the ribs (or only half the marinade if using only 1 rack) and seal tightly. Shake the bag to make sure all the ribs are coated. Lay the bag in a baking pan in case of leaks. Refrigerate overnight, turning a few times to redistribute the marinade.
Next, grill the ribs. Preheat your charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking over low to medium-low heat. Remove the ribs from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and set aside.*
Arrange the ribs bone side down over indirect heat. Cover the grill and let them go for around 1 ½ to 2 hours. They are ready when the meat is tender and the meat is starting to pull away from the bones, about ¼-inch.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add the tequila, orange juice, lime juice, and agave to the reserved marinade. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer until it is starting to turn syrupy, about 20 to 25 minutes. If you are not using the reserved marinade, simply add the glaze ingredients, except the cilantro, to a small saucepan and simmer until it looks a little bit syrupy and appropriate texture for glazing meat. This will not take as long, so be watchful.
When the glaze is the correct consistency, shut off the heat and add salt and black pepper to taste, if necessary.
Once the glaze is made, finish the ribs. Increase the grill heat to medium high and generously brush the meat side of each rack with the glaze. Use tongs to turn the ribs over so that the glazed side is down over the direct heat part, 3-5 minutes. Brush the bone side with some glaze, flip, and grill 3-5 minutes more. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest about 10 minutes.
Add the cilantro to the remaining glaze and pour into a small bowl or ramekin for passing at the table. Slice the ribs (I recommend a serrated knife – ironically it gets the cleanest, easiest cuts), and let everyone dive in, using the remaining glaze as a sauce.

*If you are hesitant to do this, I understand, and I wouldn’t advise this for pregnant women. You can make the glaze without the leftover marinade and it should still taste fine.

Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee

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Yesterday was Matt’s and my wedding anniversary (NINE years, y’all!) so it seemed apropos to blog something Cajun today, seeing as our whole relationship wouldn’t exist but for a fateful trip to New Orleans we both individually made eleven plus years ago. Happy Anniversary Matt! I love you!

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Oh, and try this etouffee, it’s insanely delicious! It’s spicy as all etouffee should be, with loads of those beloved Cajun flavors, including the holy trinity, cayenne, and beautiful shellfish. This recipe is restaurant quality, and I’ve eaten in enough NOLA restaurants over the years to know, lol!

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It’s crawfish season right now, so try and find some even if you don’t live near the Gulf Coast. If you can’t find any, no biggie, just use all shrimp. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: DrPepper Cocktail}

Source: adapted from Real Cajun by Donald Link

Ingredients:
8 tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 bell pepper, your choice of color, seeded and chopped
1 poblano chile, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs plus 1 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 lb. crawfish tails, out of the shell, cooked or raw, thawed if frozen
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off, cooked or raw, thawed if frozen
4 cups seafood stock
2 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley
Cooked white rice, for serving
Louisiana hot sauce, for serving

Directions:
Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Melt 4 tbs of butter. Once melted, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, poblano, jalapeno, garlic, 1 tbs salt, paprika, black pepper, dried thyme, chile flakes, cayenne and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened and cooked through. Add the remaining 4 tbs butter, and when that is melted, add the flour. Stir continuously for 1 minute, to cook out the raw flour taste. If your seafood is raw, add it now and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until it turns pink and firms up. It doesn’t need to cook all the way through though.
If your seafood is already cooked, do not add it now. Either way, now add the stock and bring up to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let it thicken up for 15-20 minutes. If your seafood is already cooked, add it now, when the sauce is ready to serve. Let them warm through for a minute or two, then stir in the scallion whites and parsley. Reduce the heat to low. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
To serve, spoon some rice into a deep or very shallow and wide individual bowl. Ladle the etouffee on top, then garnish with scallion greens. Serve with extra hot sauce.

Pork Neck Bone Stew

Pork neck bone stew

Despite the fact that it’s late March, last week it snowed a little, and temperatures dipped below freezing. So I made one last stew for the season.

At least I hope that’s what I did.

I sincerely hope that this is the last stew I’ll make for a while. I sincerely hope that there will be no more need or desire for a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal for many, many months. You know, because the weather is going to warm up!! Right?? Please???

Pork Neck Bone Stew

But, I must say, this was quite the stew to go out on. When I saw that Donald Link had just published a new cookbook, I couldn’t resist picking it up. I love his first one, which centers around New Orleans and Louisiana cuisine, so it’s a good bet that his follow-up project will be outstanding, too.

Possibly even better, which is quite a strong statement to make, I know. This cookbook is all about the Deep South culinary traditions and dishes. And while I’m perfectly happy to continue living in New York City indefinitely, I do have quite a fondness for the comforting food and bold flavors of America’s Deep South.

Pork Neck Bone Stew

This stew was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Seriously, there are no words. Matt was absolutely effusive in his praise for this one, not only as he ate it but days later too. Before he’d even finished his bowl, he asked when I planned to make it again. (Um, eat the leftovers, then we’ll talk). And, as he accurately pointed out, this would make some very fine game day fare next fall.

Oh, and don’t be wary of the pork neck. It’s just meat; the only reason it’s not widely eaten is because it’s a tough cut (needs to be slow cooked) that doesn’t have a ton of meat on it, which, on the plus side, makes them extremely inexpensive. But their flavor is really bar none once it’s been cooked. The stew is a bit spicy, but it won’t blow your head off. It’s kind of a project, but more than worth the effort. Don’t deprive yourself of this one. Trust me. Just don’t.

pork neck bone stew

{One year ago: Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Ice Cream}

Source: adapted from Down South by Donald Link

Ingredients:
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs sweet paprika
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp cayenne
1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground white pepper
3 lbs. pork neck bones
1/3 cup plus ¼ cup all-purpose flour
Scant cup of canola oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 medium onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken stock
6 fresh bay leaves
Steamed white rice, for serving

Directions:
Combine the salt, paprika, thyme, cayenne, black pepper, and white pepper in a small bowl to form a spice mix. Add ¼ cup flour and mix well. Season the pork neck bones all over with the spice and flour mixture by tossing in a large bowl. Do not discard the spice mixture in the bottom of the bowl.
Measure out the canola oil in a measuring cup. Pour enough into a Dutch oven to just coat the bottom. Preheat over medium-high, and when hot, add the pork necks. Brown them on all sides, working in batches to avoid overcrowding. Transfer to a platter.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the remaining canola oil and the 1/3 cup flour to the drippings in the Dutch oven. Cook, whisking or stirring with a wooden spoon constantly, for 25 minutes, to make a dark roux. You can add some of the remaining spice mixture if there seems to be too much oil to flour. Watch this carefully, and if you see smoke, lower the heat immediately. I usually make roux on medium-low to low heat. You do NOT want to burn it.
Once the roux is made, return the heat to medium and add the onion, celery, jalapeno, garlic, and remaining spice mixture. Cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes, until softened. Now add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the mixture simmers very gently. The sauce should be a nice gravy consistency. Add the pork necks, smoked sausage, and bay leaves.
Cook, covered, over medium-low to low heat, for 3 to 4 hours, until the meat falls off the bone when coaxed with a fork. Make sure your heat is not so high that the bottom of the stew scorches. You can add a little water if it is getting too thick.
When the meat is completely tender, remove the pork necks with tongs to a plate and use 2 forks to shred the meat from the bones. Add it back into the stew. Remove the bay leaves. If you want, you can use a solid spoon to carefully skim the fat off the top (I did).
Serve in bowls over a spoonful or two of white rice. And you can garnish with scallions or chives if you want, but it’s not at all necessary.

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

Queso flameado with Chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

So the other day I’m trying to decide what to make for dinner, and I realize that I am craving fried shrimp something fierce. I mean, fierce. So I try to talk myself out of it. Because swimsuit season is approaching, and fried shrimp can be quite detrimental to the waistline. And I don’t really need them, it’s just a craving. But I tell myself that I can absolutely have shrimp for dinner, I just can’t fry it.

So. I put it on top of a bunch of melted cheese instead. Because that’s soooo much better and healthier than frying it. It is! Why are you laughing? Okay, fine…

queso flameade with chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

I can’t tell you this little dish is low-cal, but it is insanely delicious. I found it on one of my favorite food blogging sites, The Homesick Texan.

A+, Lisa. Seriously, A+. This is incredibly tasty and satisfying. If you’re unfamiliar, queso flameado is the Tex-Mex version of the Mexican appetizer dish queso fundido. Queso flameado is popular around Houston and closer to the Mexico border; growing up in Dallas, I’d actually never heard of it as a kid. But, it’s so delicious. I mean, it’s melted cheese! How bad can it possibly be? So good, y’all….

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

{One year ago: Tin Roof Ice Cream}

Source: lightly adapted from The Homesick Texan

Ingredients:
1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 very small yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and thickly sliced
1 chipotle in adobo chile
1/2 cup cilantro
Kosher salt
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
3 tsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
Tortilla chips, or warmed tortillas, for serving

Directions:
Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a medium pot. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the onion, garlic and jalapeño are softened. Turn off the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the queso flameado, lightly grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and add all the shredded cheese to the skillet. Set aside.
Meanwhile, as the salsa is cooling, toss the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne. After the salsa has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor, along with the chipotle and cilantro, scraping the sides of the pan to get out all of the salsa. Pulse the salsa until roughly chopped. Add salt to taste.
At this point, place the skillet with the cheese in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
While the cheese is baking, in the same pot that you used for the salsa, heat up the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and shrimp along with any marinade juices, and cook the shrimp until they are pink and firm, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat to low as soon as the shrimp are cooked. Pour the ranchera salsa into the shrimp and stir to combine. Let it go for a couple more minutes or until the sauce has warmed up again. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove the cheese from the oven and spoon on top of the cheese the shrimp and ranchera salsa. Serve warm with tortilla chips or warmed tortillas. You’ll need a spoon for scooping the dip. Enjoy!

Short Rib Chili #SundaySupper

Short Rib Chili

So, it’s time for another Sunday Supper, yes, but this is an extra special Sunday Supper, because our theme is …… CHILI COOK-OFF!!! As a girl who hails from Texas, this just excites me to no end. I adore chili, yes I’m particular about it like any good Texan should be, and I think chili cook-offs are the greatest thing ever. So I’m thrilled to be participating in this online contest.

Texas chili with short ribs

I knew that I would be making a proper Texas chili for this event – which means, NO BEANS. As the saying goes, “Chili comes from Texas, and Texas chili has no beans.” Proper Texas chili typically doesn’t use ground beef either; it’s usually a tough cut that gets cooked slowly over long periods of time, until it’s tender enough to just melt in your mouth.

So I’m doing proper Texas chili, but with a little twist: yup, I’m using short ribs instead of the standard beef chuck. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t go gaga over short ribs, and I thought making a chili with them would be just over the top. I was correct in my hunch. This chili is simply amazing. So flavorful, and decadent from the cut of meat chosen; spicy as it should be, thick as it should be, and no beans. It’s beautiful.

short rib chili

Oh, and you know what just may be the most exciting thing about today? Well, I said chili cook-off, and that always means it’s a contest, right? Well, we do have voting, and the winner gets a prize! So please, scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on the link to vote, and please vote for my chili! Thanks, y’all!

Short Rib Chili

Source: adapted from Dinner at My Place by Tyler Florence

Ingredients:
4 lbs. English cut short ribs, on the bone
Kosher salt and black pepper
Olive oil
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and hand torn into small pieces
2 tbs whole coriander seeds
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs sweet paprika
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tbs sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced, seeded if desired
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs grated unsweetened Mexican chocolate
2 tbs masa harina
Garnishes of your choosing: shredded or crumbled cheese, sour cream, cilantro, scallions, chopped raw onion, crumbled tortilla chips

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 325 F.
Preheat a Dutch oven over high heat. Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Drizzle in a touch of olive oil, then sear the short ribs on all sides. Remove with tongs to a plate.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, add the torn dried chile pieces and coriander seeds. Toast for just a few minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally to prevent scorching. It’s done when it smells fragrant. Transfer the toasted spices to a spice grinder or coffee grinder that you only use for grinding spices. Grind until the mixture is a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl, and add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, sugar, cinnamon, plus 2 tbs kosher salt. Mix well and set aside.
When the ribs are all nicely seared, turn the heat to medium-high and add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent. Lower the heat the medium-low. Now add the chili powder you made, plus the chipotle in adobo. Stir to combine. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and chocolate. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up the tomatoes.
Add the short ribs back into the pot, making sure each one is completely coated in the chili mixture. Nestle them in, in a single layer as much as is possible. Pour enough water to just cover the short ribs, about 2 cups.
Raise the heat and bring the mixture up to a simmer. Shut off the heat and place a layer of aluminum foil on top of your Dutch oven. Then top the foil with the Dutch oven lid. Place in the oven and cook for 3 hours without peeking.
The ribs are done when they have considerably shrunk back from the bone (you’ll see a good bit of the bone exposed), and they are fork tender.
Place the Dutch oven over medium-low heat and carefully remove the short ribs to a clean plate with tongs. Use a cereal spoon to skim off some of the fat in the pot, if desired.
Use two forks to shred the meat from the ribs. Discard the bones and excess fat. Place the shredded meat back into the pot and stir to combine. Add the masa harina and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat up or down to let it simmer or just warm as needed; you want it to be fairly thick.
Serve warm, with the garnishes of your choice.

Be sure you check out all the other awesome chilis from the rest of the Sunday Supper team!

Will YOU be a part of the #SundaySupper Chili Cook-Off judges panel this week? Voting is live at the Sunday Supper Movement Online Community Magazine starting now and concluding (fittingly) on February 27 – National Chili Day! Browse the submissions and cast your vote by clicking HERE!

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Pork Chili

Chicken, Duck, and Turkey Chili

Mixed (meat combo) Chili

Fish and Seafood Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Twist-on-Chili

Best Wines To Pair with Chili #SundaySupper from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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