From Joe Bonanno
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large carrot, chopped medium
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, or 1/4 cup drained canned chopped green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound dried lentils, rinsed
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 stewed (28-ounce) tomatoes
1/3 cup chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, green and red peppers, carrot, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in 7 cups water, lentils, tomato paste, kidney beans, and pinto beans. Stir to blend, adding stewed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and crushed red-pepper flakes.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. If the chili starts to dry out, add hot water as needed. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Beef and Blue Pizza
From Better Homes and Garden magazine
1/2 of a medium red onion, cut into thin slivers
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 12-inch Italian bread shell (such as Boboli)
8 oz. thinly sliced cooked roast beef
1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1/4 tsp. pizza seasoning (optional)
- Position oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 425F.
- In large skillet cook onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is just tender.
- Place bread shell on baking sheet; brush with remaining olive oil. Bake 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stack beef slices on cutting board; slice into strips.
- Top shell with beef, sweet pepper, onion, cheese, and pizza seasoning.
- Change oven setting to broil. Broil pizza 4 to 5 minutes or until toppings are heated through and crust is browned. Cut in wedges.
From Virtual Cities
2 cups apple cider
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup curacao
Juice of 2 lemons
One 750-ml bottle of champagne
1 liter seltzer or club soda
1 teaspoon sugar
- Chill cider, brandy, rum, curacao, lemon juice, champagne, and seltzer or club soda.
- Combine cider, brandy, rum, curacao, and lemon juice with sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Just before serving, pour over a block of ice in a punch bowl and stir in champagne and seltzer.
Long Island Iced Tea
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 cups ice cubes
1/3 cup chilled vodka
1/3 cup tequila
1/3 cup white rum
1/3 cup gin
1/4 cup Cointreau liqueur
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup chilled cola
- Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes or until syrup thickens. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
- Divide the ice evenly among serving glasses.
- Pour over the vodka, tequila, rum, gin, Cointreau, sugar syrup, lemon juice and cola. Serve immediately.
Sweet and Spicy Chili
From Jason Miller of Primehouse New York
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
16 oz. coarse ground beef
12 oz. sirloin (prime grade is best), cubed into 1/4 in. chunks
2 medium yellow onions, chopped into 1/4 in. dice
1 shallot, diced fine
2 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1 red bell pepper, diced 1/4 in.
1 green bell pepper, diced 1/4 in.
1 cup tomato paste
1/2 tsp. fine-ground instant espresso
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 15 oz. cans kidney beans
2 cups beef stock
1 28 oz. can peeled plum tomatoes, chopped (drained, but reserve juice)
12 oz. dark beer (Guinness recommended)
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned thoroughly about 8 minutes. Drain off excess fat.
- Add sirloin, garlic, onions, shallots, green and red bell peppers and continue to cook for an additional 12 minutes, making sure to thoroughly brown the sirloin and get a good carmelization on the vegetables.
- Add the tomato paste, espresso, dried seasonings, and sugar. Saute and thoroughly mix over medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Add beans, stock, tomatoes, beer, and hot peppers and let simmer for one hour over medium-low heat, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for additional one hour, using the reserved drained tomato juice to thin if needed.
- Serve hot with the garnish of your choice: cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, etc.
Beginner Pulled Pork Sandwich
From Kraft Foods
1 boneless pork shoulder (3 lb.)
1 bottle (18 oz.) barbecue sauce
Juice from 1 medium orange
1/2 cup mayonnaise
12 sandwich rolls, split, toasted
- Place meat in slow cooker; top with barbecue sauce and orange juice. Cover with lid.
- Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (or on high for 4 to 6 hours).
- Remove meat from slow cooker; cut into small pieces or shred with fork.
- Return meat to slow cooker; stir until meat is evenly coated with the barbecue sauce mixture.
- Spread mayo onto cut sides of rolls. Fill rolls evenly with meat mixture.
Expert Pulled Pork Sandwich
From Bobby Flay
4 to 6 cups chicken stock or water
1 (3 lb.) boneless pork butt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
BBQ Sauce, recipe follows
8 to 12 soft buns with sesame seeds
Pickled jalapenos, recipe follows
- Preheat the grill to medium heat (the grill should maintain a constant temperature of 350°F). Place a drip pan filled halfway with the chicken stock on the briquettes.
- Season the pork butt with salt and pepper and place on the grates of the grill over the drip pan. Close the cover of the grill and let the pork cook for 1 hour.
- Turn the pork over and continue grilling for 2 to 3 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. More chicken stock may be needed to refill the drip pan during grilling.
- Remove the pork from the grill and let rest for 15 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, shred the pork into strands with your fingers. Add the shredded pork to the BBQ Sauce and serve on sandwich buns with the pickled jalapenos.
Makes 8-12 sandwiches.
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 small Spanish onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan on the grates of the grill.
- Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until soft.
- Add the fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes and juices, vinegar, honey, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce, and cook until the sugar has completely melted and the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened.
- Season with salt, to taste. Add the shredded pork and stir to coat.
3 cups rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. white peppercorns
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tbsp. kosher salt
3 jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise
7 sprigs fresh cilantro
Special equipment: 1 (8-oz.) jar
- Combine the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, seeds, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes, and then remove from the heat and let sit until cooled to room temperature.
- Place the jalapenos, stem side up, into the jar and pour enough cooled vinegar mixture over them to cover. Pack the cilantro sprigs into the jar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 4 days.
Italian Sausage Meatball Heroes
From Bon Appetit magazine
1 pound spicy or sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 (23- to 24-ounce) container purchased fresh marinara sauce, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
4 (5- to 6-inch-long) pieces French baguette, split horizontally
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Mix sausage, 1/2 cup marinara, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons parsley, and 2 tablespoons basil in large bowl. Using wet hands, shape mixture into 8 meatballs.
- Bring 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons basil, remaining marinara, and meatballs to boil in large skillet.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, turning often, about 20 minutes.
- Place baguette bottoms on baking sheet; spread each with about 2 tablespoons sauce from skillet.
- Cut meatballs in half in skillet; overlap 4 halves on each baguette bottom. Spoon remaining sauce over meatballs, then sprinkle mozzarella over, dividing equally. Bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining parsley and basil and cover with baguette tops.
Goat Cheese Nachos
From Everyday With Rachael Ray magazine
Two 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
1/2 white onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch ground cumin
Salt and pepper
20 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup heavy cream
2 bags tortilla chips (18 to 24 ounces total)
3 ripe avocados, coarsely chopped
1 pint fresh pico de gallo or salsa
1 cup chopped cilantro
- In a medium saucepan, combine the black beans, lime juice, onion, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, cumin and a pinch salt and pepper.
- Cover and warm over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer half of the mixture to a food processor; blend until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and stir; cover to keep warm.
- In a medium, microwaveable bowl, stir the goat cheese with the heavy cream. Cover and microwave on high power for 90 seconds; whisk until creamy. Set aside.
- Place a large handful of tortilla chips in individual paper bowls, drizzle with goat cheese sauce and top with the black bean mixture, avocado, pico de gallo and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Chicken Empanadas with Chili Con Queso Dip
From Paula Deen
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken, about 4 to 5 chicken breasts
1 (8-ounce) package shredded colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
- Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl using a rubber spatula, combine the chicken, colby and Monterey cheese, cream cheese, red pepper, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Remove 1 pie crust from pie tin onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 15-inch circle.
- Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining pie crusts, making 12 to 15 circles total.
- Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round.
- Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture.
- Place empanadas in deep-fryer for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with chili con queso dip, recipe below.
Make ahead: The fried empanada recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month.
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