Pueblo Pork and Red Bean Chili

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winnie Bob's Weeping Cherry Tree in winter

For the first time EVER, I pulled a "Food Network", I measured out everything in little bowls before starting the recipe and it was a great thing, I plan to do this again, it really helped with clean up and time.

My mouth's watering right now...the key to this chili really is the cilantro, diced red onion and avocado...delish!

Chloe with Whit and Stella during the Birdeye Blizzard,
we got 4 inches and school was in the next day, amazing!
Friday, January 21, 2011

I shouldn't admit that I spent a couple hours reading cookbooks and watching Food Network today looking for a recipe to cook the pork tenderloin I bought on sale a few months ago.  It was a toss up between Sweet and Sour Pork or this great recipe for chili out of my favorite cookbook, Fresh.  Jackie had a different take on the recipe.  He said, "I like chili the old way.  You don't mess with a good thing."  I blasted back that that's like saying not to change my cotton socks to his new smart wool socks that he raves about being able to wear them for a week and not stink (which he does all the time).  Anyhow, we both liked this recipe, Jackie not as much as me, and I'm excited about the amount it made so I can pull it back out in a few months and we can rehash our smart wool comparison.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Terry Conlan is a genius!  Kara is going to Lake Austin Spa in March....I'm gonna have to see if I can make it happen and try to meet him...we'll see.

Pueblo Pork and Red Bean Chili, Terry Conlan

"Many macho Texas "chili heads" insist that the real thing must be made with beef, and lots of it and no beans.  Just sear up a couple pounds of steer, throw in some onions, a bunch of chili powder, water and tomatoes and let 'er rip.  In New Mexico, however, pork is at least as likely to be the meat of choice and beans are welcome.  Using leaner cuts, like the loin, can produce a steaming bowl of red that sticks to the ribs and satisfies while keeping the fat and meat intake at reasonable levels.  A little bit of crisped, natural bacon provides a lot of flavor and not as much fat as you might think (1-1/4 grams per serving.)  The coffee rounds everything out with a slightly bitter, toasty undercurrent that plays against the sweetness of the tomatoes and pork.  Score one for the neighbors."

4 slices all natural, nitrate free bacon (I used regular bacon)
4 t. olive oil
24 ounces pork loin, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (I used a 27 oz loin and it should be cut into 1/2 inch or less pieces)
salt and pepper to taste
3 C. diced onion
2-3 serrano chiles, seeded and minced (I used 6 and left the seeds in)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
2 t. oregano
1/4 t. cayenne
2 C. beef stock
1 C. coffee
1 C. water
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes with puree
6 C. cooked red beans (I used 2 cans light red kidney beans, 1 can chili beans and 1 can pinto beans all drained)
6 T. chopped red onion
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
1/4 C. diced avocado (I used a whole one)
8 lime wedges (I omitted this)

Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Drain, blot dry and crumble; set aside. (I microwaved and drained on paper towels) Discard the grease from skillet and add 1/2 the olive oil and return to medium-high heat.  Season the pork with salt and pepper and add to skillet and brown on all sides.  Remove the pork to a plate, cover and keep warm.  Add the remaining olive oil and onion to the skillet and saute until the onions turn golden.  Add the chilies and garlic, cook for 30 seconds stirring constantly.  Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds then add the stock, coffee, water tomatoes and pork.  Simmer until the pork is tender, add the beans and cook until heated through.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Serve garnished with red onion, cilantro, avocado and a lime wedge. 

Nutrients per serving Cal 453, Prot 36 gr, Carb 50 gr, Fat 9 gr, Sodium 451 mg.

I'm looking forward to reporting on this recipe when I bring it back out for round two.

Chicken Chorizo and Potato Quesadillas, Birdeye

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sledding with cousins Whit and Stella

Notice the 4 snowmen, Chloe in the red scarf, Whit's standing
in front of his snowman, Stella's snowman is holding the rope to
Auggie on the sled...how sweet and thoughtful of Chloe's design

The Salsa, so good!

If this photo could just have a scratch and sniff,
it made my house smell so good...look at all those spices...


This picture of the quesadilla doesn't do it justice,
and that sour cream wasn't fat free, just light

My girls agree with me that it's too stinking cold outside...
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brrr...baby it's cold outside.  I woke up to 15 degrees this morning!  It's so stinking cold that my girls won't get outta their house, they stay hovering in a corner.  They are also protesting giving us any eggs, it's been two weeks so far.  During the winter, chickens molt which is when they get new feathers and take a hiatus from their reproductive cycle.  I'm already looking forward to spring for the warmer temperatures and for the girls to go back to laying a dozen a week.

For dinner tonight, I happened to have almost all the ingredients for a recipe in Terry Conlan's cookbook, Fresh, from Lake Austin Spa.  The spicy rub that goes on the chicken was so divine that Stella, my three year old niece, came over and said, "what is that Aunt Keeli?"  It smells so good while cooking, your house will fill up with garlic and chili powder aromas, yummy.  You'll see my substitutions below.  I think Kara and I need to go to Lake Austin Spa so I can meet this legendary chef...

I added pictures of Chloe, Whit and Stella over yesterday when school was out for our 4 inches of snow.  They built snowmen for all of them.  Jackie and Chloe put the blow-up mattress in the living room in front of the fire Sunday night when our second heat unit was on the outs.  Chloe loves a mattress "bunkin party" with her dad.  It wasn't such a thrill getting her up for school this morning but we made it.

Chicken Chorizo and Potato Quesadillas, Terry Conlan

"Quesadilla translates as "little cheese thing, " and although there is a bit of cheese in this recipe, it's the substitution of lean chicken breast for pork in this warm, pungently spiced Mexican sausage filling that provides the missing link.  Try one, accompanied by our avocado salsa and a dab of fat free sour cream, if desired, for breakfast, lunch or dinner."

1/2 pound ground chicken breast, I used two large boneless skinless breast cut in thin strips
2 T. chili powder
1 small bay leaf, ground in a spice grinder, I just crushed it up with my hands
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. dried oregano, thyme and ground marjoram, I did 1/2 t. each because I didn't have the marjoram
1/8 t. each ground cloves and salt
1 T cider vinegar
1 C. diced and peeled potato
2 T. canola oil, I used olive oil
1/2 C. each diced onion and shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese, I used regular colby jack
8 corn tortillas

The Salsa

1/2 ripe avocado, I used the whole thing
1 large garlic clove, minced, I used 2
1/2 C. cilantro, chopped
1/2 serrano chile, minced, I didn't have this so I used 1/4 C. chopped japs from the refrigerator
2 t. fresh lime juice, I used the juice of an entire lime (can you tell I don't like to waist?)
1/8 t. salt
1/4 C. water, I didn't add this

Combine chicken, all spices and vinegar in a bowl, mix well.  Boil the potato in lightly salted water in a saucepan until tender and drain.  Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the chicken mixture, stirring to break up the pieces until the chicken is almost cooked through (now I cooked my chicken all the way through because it was thicker).  Add the potato, onion and remaining oil, cook until the potatoes begin to brown.  Remove the heat and mash the mixture.  Top each of the 4 tortillas with an equal amount of chicken mixture.  Top with cheese then another tortilla.  Spray a griddle or nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook the quesadillas over medium heat until both sides are crisp, turning once.  Combine the avocado and all ingredients in a blender and puree.  Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with avocado salsa.  Yield: 4 servings

Per Serving:  338 calories, 21 gr. Protein, 38 gr. Carbs, 13 gr. Fat (there's more if you use that whole avocado), Sodium 304 gr.

Ok..I just had one left over for lunch today and it was excellent reheated!  WOW!

Hummus, Birdeye

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jackie and I with cousins Counts Louise and Stephen Shanks
and John Dalton at Sam and Jessica's reception
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy New Year!

Gosh, we just came home from Northwest Arkansas for a wedding (Sam Stacy's was so, so nice and the reception is on my top 5 list), I walked in the door and got going on making this Hummus recipe out of my favorite cookbook in all the land, Fresh, from Lake Austin Spa.  I think I've said it a dozen times, but Terry Conlan is a genius!  Becca Jackson, fellow biker and triathlete, really got me going on Hummus this year.  On several of our biking trips, she'd bring Hummus either homemade or store bought from our fabulous local grocery store, Hay's.  It's so healthy and some fellow culinary blogs recommend using Hummus instead of mayo to cut the fat and calories.   Thank you Becca for turning me on to this easy dip!

I considered taking a photo of the Hummus but no mater what I do, it would look terrible because Hummus just looks bad and bland, but tastes so great!  I added a picture from the wedding reception at the Fayetteville Town Center. 

Hummus, Terry Conlan

"Along with tabbouleh, hummus is probably the Middle East's most famous food export, and deservedly so.  It is, quite simply, "sustenance" in most positive sense of the word.  Tahini (sesame seed past) is now available in many American grocery stores or at any Mediterranean specialty food stores.  Stir the tahini before using it and store as you would peanut butter.  The amounts of lemon, garlic and spice are a highly individual matter.  Feel free to adjust them to your taste."

15 oz. cooked chickpeas (gartbanzo beans)
2 T. tahini
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. lemon juice, I used the juice of one whole lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced, I used 3
2 T. chopped fresh parsley, I used 3
1/8 t. cayenne, I used 1/2 t.

Place all ingredients in a food processor (I used my fancy new blender from Jackie) and process until smooth.  Transfer to a serving bowl and chill.  Serve with wedges of pita or vegetable sticks.  (I used pita chips).  Yield 48 (1 T) servings.

Nutrients per serving, Cal 19, Protein 1 gr, Carbs 3 gr, Fat 1 gr (but how can that be when Tahini says it's 17 grams per tablespoon?), Sodium 1 gr.

I love, love it!  It's so easy and I had my kitchen picked up in no time!