Chipotle Meatballs.

one last meat-tastic recipe, these are a rick bayless recipe.

3 slices bacon, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs (could shift to some amount almond flour for paleo)
1 1/4 lbs gr. pork (again, meat could vary here)
1 28 oz. can of diced tomato, mostly drained (1/4 cup juice left)
2-3 chipotles in adobo
1 med. onion, diced
1 tsp oregano, dried
1.5 tsp chili powder
1.5 cups broth (beef or chicken)
bonus: 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (didn’t use)

preheat oven to 400.

in a bowl, combine bacon, 2 cloves garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, pork, mint, chili powder, and 1.5 tsp salt. make into small meatballs – we used out minimuffin tin and it was a good decision, i think. bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

while they bake, saute your onions well, until in they brown a touch. add remaining 3 cloves garlic for a minute, then add tomatoes, broth, chipotles, and oregano. mix well, add salt to taste. when meatballs are ready, mix well and you can serve.

we’ve served this with cauliflower rice, and it’s a nice pairing. it’s also fine by itself, as a sort of appetizer.

Brittle.

another christmas gift was making some brittle. it wasn’t too hard, based on alton brown’s directions.

1.5 cups peanut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 cups sugar
1.5 cups water

clean your heavy bottomed saucepan pretty well, then brush the sides with oil to prevent chemistry weirdness from happening. place the sugar in the center of the pan, then add the water and stir to mix well. then place it over high heat. alton says to turn heat down as the boiling begins, but i found that then my mixture just never got hot enough (probably a combo of my pan and my stovetop). don’t stir or mess with the liquid, just be cool. have a baking pan lined with a silpat ready.

as the mixture begins to change color to an amber color, things are ready to go. pour in the peanuts, then immediately pour the liquid out onto the silpat. it will cool very fast, but try to press it into a single layer and keep turning back the liquid portion over the top. once it hardens, break into pieces and eat. it’s very sweet (obv) but good.

Chili Rosemary Roasted Nuts.

we made these for christmas gifts, but they just happen to be superamazing snacks that i just want to eat all the time. they are taken from ina garten’s recipe here.

here is the nut mix i used; obviously, this is very flexible. i don’t like walnuts and peanuts are cheap to buy, and so this plays a factor.
2 cups cashews
2 cups peanuts
1 cup pecans
1 cup almonds
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp chili powder (we have a nice blend with lime zest)
fresh rosemary (ina calls for 4 tbsp, but i use a little more than half of that)
salt

preheat oven to 350. mix the oil, syrup, sugar, juice, and chili. then toss with the nuts. then toss with 2 tbsp minced rosemary and 2 tsp salt. put onto a well-greased baking sheet and send it into the oven for about 18 minutes, mixing it up twice along the way. (ina says to roast for 25 minutes, but that was way too long for me.) by the end, the liquid portion should be bubbly and sticky.

remove from the oven, toss with 2 tsp each of rosemary and salt, and stir pretty regularly. these will harden and cluster up pretty quickly, and a metal spatula is the best way to get them off the pan and break them up once they are finished.

they will be delicious warm, and they will remain delicious until you are done eating them all.

Raw Tomatillo Salsa (September 4, 2010)

it’s no secret that carla and i are obsessed with rick bayless’s mexican food. the catch usually is that his recipes tend towards the complicated, work-intensive side. and while they usually pay off, sometimes you want something easy. i wanted an easy salsa to make with some pork carnitas i was making this weekend, and bayless obliged. this is as easy a recipe as you can find in bayless’s catalog:

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/view?recipeID=193

Raw Tomatillo Salsa
Salsa Cruda de Tomate Verde

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Recipe from Season 7 of Mexico – One Plate at a Time
Ingredients

4 medium (about 8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
1 large garlic clove, peeled and quartered
Hot green chiles to taste (I like 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
Salt
Directions

Combine tomatillos, garlic, chile and cilantro in a blender jar or food processor. Add 1/4 cup water and a generous 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process to a coarse puree. If using a blender, begin blending on low, at first pulsing to get the mixture moving evenly through the blender blades. Pour into a salsa dish and thin with a little more water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, if you think necessary. Serve right away.

i made this one pretty much exactly as the recipe called, using the 2 serranos as my peppers. it’s a great, easy salsa, with good heat and a nice bit of light sweetness from the raw tomatillos. i might go a little easier on the water, as i think there’s a touch too much, but other than, simple and perfect.

Irish Soda Bread (March 22, 2010)

how else to celebrate st. patrick’s day? irish soda bread is pretty awesome; i tried this recipe on something of a whim.

Ingredients

* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/3 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 2 cups buttermilk
* 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.

i ended up adding in raisins, maybe a half cup? or a whole cup. i don’t remember. anyways, some of the comments on allrecipes say that this version was too cake-like for their taste. i can see that, but i thought the texture was certainly within the acceptable soda bread parameters; it could’ve been a little more dense, but i was fine with it. and we were happy with it – it got eaten pretty quickly over the following days. i’d be willing to try another recipe, but i’d also have no problems going back to this one too. solid A.

Mini Tacos (July 20, 2008)

From Carla’s birthday extravaganza!
these appetizers were a super-hit, and were VERY easy to make. highly recommended!

INGREDIENTS

* 24 wonton wrappers
* 1 pound ground turkey
* 1 (1.12 ounce) package Taco Seasoning Mix
* 2 tablespoons Picante Sauce
* 1/2 cup Salsa
* 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Press wonton wrappers into mini-muffin cups.
3. Cook turkey in skillet until browned. Drain off fat. Stir in taco seasoning mix and picante sauce.
4. Spoon beef mixture into wonton cups. Top with salsa and cheese.
5. Bake about 8 minutes or until wontons are golden brown.
6. Serve immediately with additional salsa. Garnish with sour cream and sliced ripe olives if desired. Makes 24 appetizers.

we did this with turkey; the original recipe called for ground beef. when i say these things were gone fast, i mean it.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (October 22, 2007)

Last Monday David and I had a small party for a few friends to watch my Colts take on the Jags. Here is what we had:

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Chips
Peanut M&M’s
Autumn Mix
Frog Salsa
Carrots/Sliced Zucchini
Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup roasted red pepper
1/4 tsp. dried basil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
cumin, to taste
1/8 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. This is best if it sets up in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

The hummus was good, but overall I still wanted more from it. I am working to make it more like I want it to be. Bloomingfoods uses cayenne in their hummus. If I try it again, I will use cayenne as well.