Pork and Poblano Stew.

this most recent one came from simply recipes; carla picked it out, and it looked fine to me. we made it last night, and i was pretty happy – lots of great flavor. i think it helped that i got a particularly nice bit of pork shoulder from our butcher.

  • 4 to 5 poblano chile peppers (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 quart chicken stock (use gluten-free stock for gluten-free option)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost if frozen)
  • 1 large (about 1/2 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes)
  • Sour cream for garnish
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for garnish

1) Char / broil the chiles; skin, stem, and seed them, then chop into 1-2 inch pieces. One main switch – neither of the two grocers I visited had poblanos! So I made an audible and toasted and rehydrated some anchos instead. I chopped them much more finely, as they are a bit less pleasant to eat big pieces of.

2) Heat oil in a dutch oven, then brown the pork, salting liberally.

3) Remove the pork – add onion and cumin to the dutch oven, cooking until translucent (~5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook another minute.

4) Add the chopped chipotle (I used 2 rather than 1, and was very happy with the spicyness level), along with the pork and the poblanos. Then add the stock and oregano, and simmer covered for about an hour.

5) Add the sweet potato and corn, then cook for 45 more minutes, until sweet potato is cooked through.

You can garnish with sour cream, cilantro, and or pepitos, though we did none of those last night. I thought this was a very savory, delicious stew. It took a chunk of time for sure, but the end result made me pretty happy.

Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Jalapeno Biscuits.

it’s smitten kitchen, as always. these were FANTASTIC on the side of whatever we ate them with.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Drained and chopped pickled jalapeños, to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Either cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub them in with your fingertips until well-combined. Stir in the cheddar, jalapeños and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Pat it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a very well-floured counter and use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut six rounds. Bake on an ungreased (or parchment-lined, if your baking sheets are as “weathered” as mine are) for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden on top.

Mexican Quinoa Salad.

this one was a quick lunch that was found on the nourishing gourmet. it turned out really nice and easy, but next time we make it, it needs black beans.

1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
2-3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
half a bunch of cilantro
5 cups of cooked quinoa (about 2-2.5 cups dry)
2 corn on the cobs (2 small cans)
1 bunch of spinach

Mix the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cumin, garlic and salt together in a small jar. Toss most of it with the quinoa and corn in a bowl. Serve with spinach; you can leave some dressing behind to add as you eat if you eat some later, as we did.

The recipe calls for cooked (wilted) spinach, but we tossed it in raw as we ate it during the week. No big thing. The recipe also says to lightly cook the corn in some oil on the stove – I don’t recall if we did this either. Nothing fancy going on here, but it was a pleasant lunch.

Bacon Corn Hash

We got this from Smitten Kitchen and it proved to be a delicious breakfast. David is especially keen on the corn included in this recipe.

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Note: I used 3 small ears corn, which yielded 2 cups but wanted more corn. So, the recipe below reflects the suggestion that you use more than you’ll see in the photos. Raw potatoes cubes can take a bit of time to cook in a pan, about 20 minutes, but you can speed the process up microwaving or steaming the cubes for a couple minutes before adding them to the pan. I never bother, since I’m always trying to use as few dishes as possible.

Makes 4 to 5 cups

1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into small dice
1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed clean and diced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 to 3 1/4 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium-large ears corn, kernels cut from the cob (2 1/2 to 3 cups)
1 bundle scallions, thinly sliced

Toss bacon into a large skillet over medium heat, no need to heat the pan first. Let rest for a few minutes until it starts sizzling, then move the bits around so that they begin to brown evenly. Again, wait a couple minutes before shuffling the pieces around; you’re looking for them to get evenly golden and crisp. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pan and transferring the bacon to paper towels to drain.

If your bacon is like mine, you’ll be left with a spectacular amount of fat behind. You’ll be tempted to drain it off. May I ask you not to? The potatoes that cook in this will be gorgeous and you will have a chance to remove this extra in a bit. It will mostly stay in the pan.

Heat the pan to medium/medium-high, making sure the bacon fat is nicely sizzly, then add your potatoes all at once in a single layer. Sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon table salt and several grinds of black pepper. Let them cook for a few minutes in one place and get a bit golden underneath before turning them over and moving them around. Repeat this process until the potatoes are browned on all sides; this takes about 20 minutes.

At this point, you can push aside the potatoes and pour or spoon off all but a small amount of the fat. I won’t tell you how much I was able to remove but it rhymes with shmoo to shmee shmablespoons. If you save it, you can use it to fry an egg in a bit.

Bump up the heat a little and add the corn to the skillet. Saute the potatoes and corn together until the corn gets a bit brown but stays fairly crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the drained bacon, and stir the mixture together until it’s evenly warm, about 1 more minute. Remove the skillet from the burner and sprinkle the scallions (reserving a couple spoonfuls if you’d like to use them as fried egg garnish) over the hash. In two minutes, they should be warm and mellowed. Season with more salt or pepper to taste, if needed.

Add a fried egg to it: Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and swirl in one to two teaspoons bacon fat or butter. Crack one egg into the skillet and reduce heat to medium. I like to cover the skillet with a small lid at this point, as it seems to help the egg cook faster and more evenly. In one minute, you should have a perfect sunny-side-up egg. Season with salt and pepper, serve on top of a pile of bacon corn hash.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

About a month ago we made these rolls – and by we, I mean David. They were delicious. I want to make them again during the week of Thanksgiving. About half way through the recipe, there is a place to stop and start again the next day. These are really good, but they take a lot of time…

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 16 to 18 buns

Dough
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, to be divided
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk, warmed (but not over 116 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from 1 .25-ounce or 7 gram envelope yeast)
3 1/2 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
1/4 cup (packed) (50 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (6 grams) table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cups (160 grams) pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1 large egg
Oil for coating rising bowl

Filling
3/4 cup (packed, 145 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons (5 grams) ground cinnamon

Glaze
4 ounces (115 grams) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk or buttermilk
2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
Few drops vanilla extract (optional)

Make your dough: Melt your butter, and hey, if you’re melting it in a little saucepan, you might as well brown it for extra flavor. Once the butter has melted, keep cooking it over medium heat for a few additional minutes. It will become hissy and sizzle a lot, then take on a nutty flavor as golden bits form at the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Combine your warmed milk and yeast in a small bowl and set aside. After five to seven minutes, it should be a bit foamy. If it’s not, you might have some bad yeast and should start again with a newer packet.

In the bottom of the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour, sugars, salt and spices. Add just 1/4 cup (or two-thirds of; leave the rest for assembly) of your melted/browned butter and stir to combine. Add yeast-milk mixture, pumpkin and egg and mix combined. Switch mixer to a dough hook and run it for 5 minutes on low.

Scrape mixture into a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 1 hour in a draft-free place; it should just about double.

While it is rising, line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans (8-inch round should work too, as does an 8-inch square) with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan and the paper.

Assemble buns: Scoop dough onto a very well floured surface and flour the top of it well. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to an approximately 16×11-inch rectangle. Brush reserved melted/browned butter over dough. Stir together remaining filling ingredients and sprinkle mixture evenly over dough. Starting on a longer side, roll the dough into a tight spiral. It’s going to make a mess because the dough is crazy soft and some stuff spills off the ends; don’t sweat it. It will all be delicious in the end.

Here’s how to cut cinnamon rolls without squishing their pretty spirals: With a sharp serrated knife, using absolutely no pressure whatsoever (only the weight of the blade should land on the dough) gently saw your log with a back-forth motion into approximately 1-inch sections. When a soft dough like this is rolled, it tends to grow longer, which means that you’ll have the option to either make more buns (say, 18 instead of 16) or just cut them a little larger (in generous inches).

Divide buns between two prepared pans. You can sprinkle any sugar that fell off onto the counter over them. Cover each pan with plastic wrap and let rise for another 45 minutes.

If you’re doing this ahead of time, you can now put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, leave them out for an hour to warm up and finish rising.

15 minutes before you’re ready to bake them, heat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, you can make the glaze. Beat your cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Drizzle in milk until you get the consistency you’re looking for, either thick enough to ice or thin enough to drizzle.

Finish your buns: Remove the plastic and bake buns for 25 minutes, until puffed and golden and the aroma brings all the boys to your yard is like a snickerdoodle. Transfer pans to wire cooling racks and drizzle/schmear with cream cheese glaze, then have at them.