Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Tag Archives: chili

Green Bell Peppers are in season and there are a lot to be found at the farmers’ markets and supermarkets. Take advantage of their low price and pick some up on your next shopping trip. What can you make with them? Certainly sauteing them in olive oil with onions makes for a great topping for any kind of grilled meat or fish. Stuffing them makes for a fine main dish. Here is a different way to stuff them.

Small Batch Pork and Bean Chili

You certainly can double all the ingredients for the chili to make a full batch. I like to keep this small batch on hand to use with hot dogs or nachos and for stuffing vegetables. This recipe makes use of leftover pork or beef.

For the beans:

If you don’t have time to cook beans, skip that step and use 1 1/2 cups drained and rinsed canned beans instead.

1 cup dried pinto or kidney beans
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt

For the chili:

Variation: add 1 cup of fresh corn kernels to the chili, when adding the tomatoes.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
11/2 teaspoons dried oregano
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 oz leftover pork or beef, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)

Prepare the beans:

In a medium bowl, soak the beans in enough water to cover by at least 2 inches and refrigerate overnight.

Drain the beans and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water by about 1 inch. Add the onion, garlic, and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.

Add ½ teaspoon salt and continue to simmer until tender, about 30 minutes more. Drain and reserve 1 ½ cups for the chili and reserve the rest for another dish.

Make the chili:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and pale gold, about 15 minutes.

Add the garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste.

Add the pork, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the meat is so tender that it falls apart, about 30 minutes. Stir the beans into the chili and simmer for about 15 minutes before using.

Chili Stuffed Peppers

For every 2 servings you will need:

2 green bell peppers
Pork and Bean Chili, about a ½ cup for each pepper
Grated cheddar cheese

Directions

Slice off the stem end of the peppers and remove and discard seeds and membranes.

Place the peppers in a glass dish, cut side down, add a few tablespoons of water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave the peppers on high for two minutes. Drain the peppers on a paper towel.

Stand peppers upright in the glass baking dish.

Spoon in the chili until it reaches the top of the pepper, cover the top with shredded cheese. Repeat until all of the peppers you are cooking are filled.

Cover the dish and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Remove the cover and place some shredded cheese on top of each pepper.

Return the dish to the oven and heat until the cheese melts.

Remove the dish from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.


??????????Whether oven roasted, smoked, braised or cooked in a crock pot, pork shoulder is one of those cuts of meat that just gets better the longer it cooks. Pork shoulder is probably one of the cheapest cuts of meat around but smells so good when it cooks, it will make you want to hang out in the kitchen.

Both a pork shoulder and a pork butt come from the shoulder area. Cuts labeled “pork shoulder” or “picnic shoulder” are from the thinner, triangle-shaped end of the shoulder, whereas the “butt” is from the thicker, fatty end of the shoulder. As such, pork shoulder is better for cooking whole and slicing, whereas pork butt is perfect for making pulled pork and other recipes in which the meat is meant to fall apart. Yet both pork shoulder and pork butt benefit from long, slow cooking and are great cut up and used as stew meat and in chilis.

Pork Shoulder Cuts

Bone-in Pork Shoulder

Pork Butt

Boneless Pork Shoulder

How to Cook Pork Shoulder in the Oven

  • Let the pork shoulder sit and come to room temperature for half an hour prior to cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
  • Put the pork on a rack in a roasting pan, so it does not sit in its own juices. Place the pork fat side up so it will baste itself.
  • Pierce the pork with a knife in a few different spots. This will allow the juices to spill out and baste the meat.
  • Coat the pork with your favorite seasonings, marinade or rub.
  • Roast pork for about 3 hours. The skin should be crispy.
  • Check the pork with a meat thermometer to determine if it is done cooking. The internal temperature should reach at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius).
  • Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

How to Cook Pork Shoulder in a Slow Cooker

  • Coat the pork with your favorite seasonings or rub. Let it sit for 30 minutes so the rub sticks to the meat.
  • Add other desired ingredients to the crock pot, such as vegetables or herbs for more flavor.
  • Place the pork shoulder into the crock pot on top of the other ingredients.
  • Cover 1/2 to 3/4 of the pork shoulder with liquids of your choice, such as water, unsweetened apple juice or stock. 
  • Place the cover on the crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until the pork is very tender.

How to Cook Pork Shoulder on the Grill

  • Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Use olive oil or nonstick cooking spray on the grill grates to prevent the meat from sticking.
  • Pierce the pork shoulder with a knife a few times over the surface.
  • Coat the pork with your favorite seasonings, rub or marinade.
  • Grill the pork shoulder for approximately 3 hours.
  • Check the pork with a meat thermometer to determine if it is done cooking. The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
  • Let the pork shoulder rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Storing Pork Roasts

Sealed, prepacked fresh pork cuts can be kept in the refrigerator 2 to 4 days. If you do plan on keeping the raw, fresh pork longer than 2 to 3 days before cooking it, store it well-wrapped in the freezer. Generally, fresh cuts of pork, like roasts, can be kept in the freezer up to 6 months.

Follow these steps to help keep your pork fresh in the freezer:

  • Use one of these freezer wrap materials: specially-coated freezer paper (place the waxed side against the meat); heavy-duty aluminum foil; heavy-duty polyethylene film; heavy-duty plastic bags.
  • Cover sharp bones with extra paper so the bones do not pierce the wrapping.
  • Wrap the meat tightly, pressing as much air out of the package as possible.
  • Label with the name of the pork cut and date.
  • Freeze at 0 degrees F or lower.

pulled pork sandwich

Family Favorite – Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I use a boneless pork shoulder for this recipe instead of a pork butt (or Boston butt) because it is leaner. For best flavor prep the meat one day ahead.

12 servings

Dry Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 (5 to 7 pound) boneless pork shoulder or pork butt

Mustard Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Mix the paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, dry mustard and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the pork in a roasting pan and roast it for about 6 hours. An instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the pork should register at least 170 degrees F, but basically, what you want to do is to roast it until it falls apart.

While the pork is roasting, make the mustard sauce. Combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 30 minutes until the sauce is thickened slightly. Take it off the heat and let it sit until you’re ready for it.

When the pork is done, take it out of the oven and put it on a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 20 minutes. While the pork is still warm, you want to “pull” the meat. Use 2 forks: 1 to steady the meat and the other to “pull” shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl and pour half of the sauce over. Stir well so that the pork is coated with the sauce.

To serve, spoon pulled pork mixture onto the bottom half of a hamburger bun and top with some of the mustard sauce.

porketta

Porchetta-Style Roast Pork

Porchetta, or roast suckling pig seasoned with garlic and herbs, is a traditional Italian dish. Here, the flavors of porchetta are used on a roasted pork shoulder. You’ll need to start this dish one day ahead, as the pork has to marinate overnight.

Makes 8 servings

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 5 1/2- to 6-pound boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth

Directions

Stir fennel seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until slightly darker in color and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer seeds to a spice mill and cool. Add kosher salt, peppercorns and dried crushed red pepper. Grind to medium-fine consistency (not a powder).

Place pork in 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass baking dish. Rub garlic all over pork, then coat with spice mixture. Loosely cover pork with waxed paper. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush a large rimmed baking pan with oil. Place roast, fat side up, in the center of the baking pan. If any of the spice mixture has fallen off, return it to the meat and drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons oil. Roast pork 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Roast pork until very tender and a thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 190°F, after about 3 hours 15 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board but do not clean the baking pan. Let pork rest 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour all pan juices from the baking pan into 2-cup measuring cup. Let sit for a few minutes and spoon off any fat that rises to top. Place reserved baking pan across 2 burners on the stove. Pour wine and broth onto the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until wine mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 4 minutes.

Add degreased pan juices and whisk to blend. Pour pan sauce into small bowl (sauce will be thin). Thinly slice roast and serve with the sauce.

 

Pork Ragu Over Pappardelle

Slow cooked pork shoulder adds much more flavor to the ragu than using ground pork.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon peperoncino flakes (crushed red pepper)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups (one 28-ounce can) canned Italian plum tomatoes, crushed 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 lb pappardelle (wide) pasta

Directions

Trim the fat from the exterior of the pork. Cut it into bite-sized pieces, about 3/4-inch cubes, trimming more fat as you divide the meat. Pat the pieces dry with paper towels.

Pour the olive oil into the big pan, set it over medium heat and add the pork. Spread the pieces in the pan and season with salt. Cook the pork slowly for 15 minutes or so, turning and moving the pieces occasionally as the meat releases its juices and they cook away.

When the pan is dry and the pork starts to sizzle and crackle, clear a spot on the bottom and add in the chopped garlic and peperoncino. Stir them for a minute or so in the pan until the garlic is fragrant and sizzling, then stir and toss with the meat cubes.

Raise the heat a bit, pour in the white wine, stir and bring to a boil. Let the wine bubble until it is nearly evaporated and the pork is sizzling again. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of water and freshly grated nutmeg. Stir well.

Cover the pan, bring to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours until the pork is tender and falls apart under gentle pressure and the sauce has thickened. If the liquid is still thin toward the end of the cooking time, set the cover ajar and raise the heat a bit to reduce it rapidly.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Serve ragu over the cooked pappardelle.

pork shoulder

Mediterranean Braised Pork Shoulder

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut in 1/4″ wedges
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 thin-skinned oranges, cut in eighths
  • 1/2 cup Cerignola or Kalamata olives
  • 2 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade or low-sodium if using canned)
  • Fennel fronds for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 300° F.

Secure each piece of pork with kitchen twine, so they will stay together while braising. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Brown the meat on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove meat from the pan and transfer to a rimmed plate.

Add the fennel wedges, onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the pan and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the chicken broth, oranges, thyme and bay leaf. Return the pork to the pan with add any accumulated juices on the plate.

Bring to a boil. Cover and braise in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the lid and cook the pork for 2 hours longer, turning the meat over and adding the olives after the first hour. The pork should be very tender, if not, cook for another 30 minutes.

Transfer the pork, fennel, oranges, vegetables and olives with a slotted spoon or skimmer to a serving bowl. Remove the string from the pork and tent with foil.

Place the Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat. Simmer until the liquid has reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning.

Cut the pork into small chunks and spoon the sauce and vegetables over the pork, sprinkle with the fennel fronds. This dish is often served over polenta or couscous.

pork chili

Southern Style Pork Shoulder Black-Eyed Pea Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 pounds, fat trimmed pork shoulder cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1 – 12 ounce bottle ale
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups canned whole Italian tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 canned chipotles in adobo, seeded and minced
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheddar and sour cream for serving

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the coriander, paprika and cumin and toss with the pork to coat in a large plastic ziplock bag. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large Dutch Oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add 1/3 of the pork and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate and repeat the process twice with 2 more batches of pork. Transfer all the pork to the plate. Only add more oil, if necessary, to keep pork from sticking to the pot.

Add the onion, garlic, jalapenos and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Return the pork to the pot along with any accumulated juices from the plate. Add the ale, chicken stock, tomatoes, chipotles and black-eyed peas and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the meat and beans are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Season the chili with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve the chili in bowls with cheddar and sour cream.

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The art of tailgating can be described as a delicate balance between sports and eating. It’s a place where fans can not only paint their faces, but enjoy a beer with a fellow supporter. It’s a medium where sports can be enjoyed pre-game and post-game.

There is something about the combination of friends, family, appetizers and beverages that excites fans like few other things can. Grilling burgers that are branded with your team’s logo, competing to see whose flag can fly the highest, and dressing children in sports paraphernalia – all are as American as the hot dogs and apple pies that are consumed while doing them. And while this time-honored tradition dates back to some of the earliest sporting events, tailgating has arguably grown more popular than the events with which they are associated.

How did tailgating begin?

One of the first tailgating events was first documented during the Civil War, although participants, in all likelihood, were not sharing recipes or playing a friendly game of horseshoes. The event took place in 1861 at the Battle of Bull Run. At the battle’s start, civilians from the Union side arrived with baskets of food and shouting, “Go Big Blue!” Their efforts were a form of support and encouragement for their side to win the commencing battle.

Although this event was a far cry from tailgates of today, this is one of the first historical events of passersby cheering on an event. This day also is important in that it documents food being used to celebrate a specific event.

Another event that would help shape the history of tailgating happened just five years after the Battle of Bull Run, in 1866 when Texas rancher, Charles Goodnight, transformed a U.S. army wagon into a portable feed wagon. Goodnight saw the need for cowboys to eat regardless of location, and invented his contraption – the chuck wagon – to help mobilize hearty meals. The chuck wagon, named after a lower-priced cut of beef called “chuck,” helped transform the face of the ranching industry. Goodnight’s portable cooking design was efficient, and more importantly, on wheels. Goodnight’s chuckwagon was an early model of many tailgating setups that are still used in present times.

Up to this point, however, each form of early tailgating had yet to be performed at an actual sporting event. The act of pre-game celebration would not be introduced to competitive sports until 1869, when the earliest signs of tailgating at a sporting event took place at the inaugural intercollegiate football game between Princeton and Rutgers. However, what arguably had the biggest effect on tailgating at this game, was a group of Rutgers fans and players, who wore scarlet-colored scarves (converted into turbans), in order to be separate from the other fans. Their school colors were a show of support, and defined them as belonging to a certain team. Back then, spectators traveled to the game by horse-drawn carriages, and spent the time prior to kick off grilling sausages and burgers at the “tail end” of the horse.

Still others claim that the cradle of tailgating is Green Bay, Wisconsin, and point to the year 1919, when the three-time Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers were first formed. Wisconsin farmers would back their pickup trucks around the edge of the open football field, open their tailgates to sit on and graze from a picnic basket of food as they watched “The Pack” play.

Freelance writer Chris Warner, who wrote A Tailgater’s Guide To SEC Football, produced a 2003 documentary on tailgating for The History Channel cable network’s Modern Marvels series. In it, Warner suggests any of the three origins could be considered valid, but that “While modern tailgating has only recently [within the last 30 years] become popular, the practice of enjoying both food and football has post-Civil War, 19th century roots.”

At the dawn of the Automotive Age, the word “tailgate” referred specifically to the hinged back section of a vehicle that could be removed or let up or down for the ease in loading or unloading cargo. Although its invention was a convenience for the driver and passengers, it became the foundation for the modern tailgating experience  seen at concerts and sporting events.

Ever since that first competitive collegiate game, the traditional form of tailgating has been practiced at sporting events everywhere. Ever since opposing players have faced one another, fans have worn the colors of their teams. And from the first meeting of schools, onlookers have cheered throughout the game for their teams.

Nowadays, food and beverages have become a staple before the big game. There are barbecues before baseball events, beers shared hours before kickoff, and cold cuts spread out at the start of a racing event. Tailgating is a large part of American culture, and is enjoyed today more than ever.

To date, tailgating has changed as much as the game of football itself. Where turbans were once worn to distinguish which team you were rooting for, caps, jerseys, themed T-shirts, and body paint now are the norm. And where food was once transported in a horse-drawn wooden wagon, grills and coolers now are transported with ease, allowing tailgaters to consume the best of foods and beverages on the road. Despite the changes in the evolution of tailgating, one thing has endured: the fans’ spirit.

Some Healthy Recipes For Your Next Tailgate Party

Zesty Baked Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 16 chicken wings, each halved at joint and with tip removed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs

Dip:

  • 1 cup fat-free yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire

Directions:

1. Combine first 8 ingredients (through lemon zest) in a large bowl, and whisk until combined. Pour over wings, transfer to a zip-top plastic bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 425°.

3. Line a baking pan with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray; set aside.

4. Mix together Parmesan, parsley, and breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Coat wings in breadcrumb mixture. Place on prepared pan.

5. Bake on lowest oven rack for 20 minutes, then turn and cook for 10 more minutes.

6. While wings are baking, combine dip ingredients in a small bowl. Serve the wings with the dip.

Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab

6 servings

 Ingredients

  • 3 long English cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup crab meat, excess water removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, minced plus extra for garnish
  • Paprika

 Directions:

Peel the cucumbers and cut into 2 inch slices. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out 3/4ths of the inside, being careful not to scoop through the bottom. You want to leave the walls and a thick portion of the bottom intact.

In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream and cream cheese until well combined. Add in remaining ingredients and stir until just combined. Fill each cucumber cup with the crab mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle paprika and minced green onion on each cucumber cup for garnish.

Pigs-in-a-Blanket

(Makes 42 pigs)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated quick light crescent dinner rolls
  • 2 tablespoons grainy, Dijon, or honey mustard
  • 1 package Applegate cocktail franks (contains 42 franks)
  • Ketchup, mustard, or prepared horseradish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with one package of rolls at a time, separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle into thirds and spread with mustard. Place one cocktail frank on widest end of triangle and roll up tightly. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, point side down. Repeat with remaining dough and franks. You will have a little extra crescent roll dough left over.

2. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with ketchup, mustard, or prepared horseradish.

Make-ahead tip: Prepare pigs-in-a-blanket and freeze for up to a week. To reheat: place pigs, thawed, on cookie sheet, covered loosely with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Eggplant Bruschetta

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants, peeled
  • Dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Olive oil for brushing on eggplant slices, plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Toasted baguette slices.

Directions:

Slice eggplant in thin circles, brush lightly with olive oil, salt them lightly, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Bake them on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool. Finely dice and combine with remaining ingredients.

Spread on toasted baguette slices.

Italian Sausage Chili                                                      

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Italian Sausage links, any flavor
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (16 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • Asiago, Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

1. Grill the Italian sausages and cut into half moon slices. Set aside. In a soup kettle, saute the onion, celery, sweet peppers and garlic in oil until tender. Add sausage and the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until flavors are blended.

2. Sprinkle chili with grated Asiago, Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Vegetarian Chili

Serves 6                                                                                                              

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

Directions:

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and garlic is soft, about 4 minutes. Add chili powder, oregano, season with salt and pepper, and cook until spices are fragrant, 1 minute. Add zucchini and tomato paste; cook, stirring frequently, until tomato paste is deep brick red, 3 minutes. Stir in black beans, pinto beans, and both cans diced tomatoes. Add 2 cups water and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a medium simmer and cook until zucchini is tender and liquid reduces slightly, 20 minutes.

Mini Muffulettas

Tailgate Tip: Prepare sandwiches the day before the game.

Place in zip-top plastic freezer bags, and refrigerate overnight.

12 servings                                              

Ingredients:

  • 2 (16-oz.) jars mixed pickled vegetables (Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera)
  • 3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil-and-vinegar Italian dressing
  • 12 small whole wheat rolls, cut in half
  • 6 Swiss cheese slices, cut in half
  • 12 thin Applegate Farms deli ham slices
  • 12 Applegate Farms Genoa salami slices
  • 6 provolone cheese slices, cut in half

Directions:

1. Pulse pickled vegetables in food processor 8 to 10 times or until finely chopped. Stir in olives and dressing.

2. Spread 1 heaping tablespoonful pickled vegetable mixture over cut side of each roll bottom. Top each with 1 Swiss cheese slice half, 1 ham slice, 1 salami slice, 1 provolone cheese slice half, and roll tops. Cover with plastic wrap. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.

Tomato and Provolone Sandwiches

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 slices whole-grain country bread
  • Olive oil for grilling bread
  • 4 slices provolone cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 large or 3 medium tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/2 inch thick

Directions:                                                                                                                                                                                       

Preheat grill to medium on one side of the grill.

Mash garlic on a cutting board with the side of a chef’s knife or a spoon until a paste forms. Transfer to a small bowl and combine with mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice, pepper and salt.

Brush bread slices lightly with olive oil and place on the hot side of the grill. Grill until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the bread over onto the cool side of the grill and divide cheese among 4 of the pieces. Continue grilling with the cover down until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Assemble sandwiches with tomato and the garlic-herb mayonnaise. Top with the melted cheese bread.

 

 



Skinny Spatula

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