Spicy vegetarian chili

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Betsy’s spicy vegetarian chili

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups black beans, cooked
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa, medium
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup canned corn niblet

Heat oil in a large pot, saute onions, peppers and garilc for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add remaining ingredients except corn.
Increase heat to high to bring to a boil.
Decrease heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in corn, simmer until heated through.
Makes about 10 cups or 6-7 servings of 1 1/2 cups.

Roasted Pineapple Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Pineapple Pork Tenderloin
adapted recipe courtesy of Epicurious


1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon mild or hot chili powder (or achiote paste)
1 jalapeno, finely minced
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 small golden pineapple (about 1 1/2 pound), diced into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup pineapple (or orange) juice
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Heat a large pan over high heat to the smoking point, 3 to 4 minutes. Brown pineapple 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pineapple juice and stir 1 minute, scraping up brown bits from pan. Remove pineapple from heat. Combine in a bowl with pepper, onion and basil. Mash together and set aside.
Mix tomato paste with chili powder.
Combine with orange juice, lime juice and oil in a double resealable bag.
Add pineapple mixture to the bag.
Add tenderloin and marinate at least 3 hours.
Heat a grill or grill pan over high. Coat with cooking spray.
Remove pork from marinade; place on baking pan. (Discard excess marinade.)
Bake marinated pork in a preheated 350 oven, until pork is no longer pink and internal temperature is 160°F 18 to 20 minutes. Let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.

Sixteen Spice Chicken w/Cilantro Cream Sauce

So what’s for dinner? Well, we couldn’t decide on whether to have burgers or BBQ. I figured chicken would be our best bet and decided on Bobby Flay’s recipe for 16 Spice Chicken. This was the entree I ordered when I visited his restaurant, Mesa Grill, in Vegas this past January. It was so wonderfully seasoned, I definitely wanted to try recreating it at home. Why not today?
Here’s Bobby Flay’s recipe for Sixteen Spice Chicken:

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
3 tablespoons pasilla chile powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon chile de arbol
3 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Canola oil

Combine spices in a bowl. Rub chicken breasts on both sides with rub. Marinate at least an hour or overnight. Oil up the grill until well coated (so it won’t stick) and grill for 10-12 minutes.

With the chicken entree I ordered, I recall having a cilantro cream sauce. So with that, I also made this great Cilantro Cream Sauce.

My husband is a big fan of cilantro and it worked out perfectly with the chicken! Eek, blurry pic, but trust me with how well it tastes! It would work as a great dip with chips and salsa too.
Here’s my slightly adapted recipe for Cilantro Cream sauce, using some of the great Florida food gifts I received:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 cup prepared salsa verde
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon bottled or fresh key lime juice

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Place in a serving bowl.

Cheddar Herb Beer Bread

Savory Breads
fresh out of the oven:


We made the following bread during my Quick Bread Cooking Class, which you can read & view pictures of HERE.

Cheddar Herb Beer Bread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz. beer
1 teaspoon chili or cayenne powder
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients.
Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

Autumn in my Kitchen

I love the fall weather! To celebrate the first weekend of fall-like weather here in Chicago, I prepared maple braised pork ribs which I served with a butternut squash risotto.

Here is my recipe for the maple braised pork ribs, which is versatile enough for making in both a crockpot or conventional oven:

1-2 lbs pork ribs
maple rub (recipe below)

Maple Rub
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
splash of worchestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Combine above ingredients in a bowl.
Consistency will slightly clumpy and paste like.
Coat pork ribs with this paste using your hands – a basting brush isn’t as effective.
Place coated pork in a dutch oven or shallow baking pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 3-4 hours OR
Place coated pork in your crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.

I served this with a butternut squash risotto, using a jarred butternut squash puree which I got from Wiliams Sonoma.

When I made my basic risotto recipe, I used chicken broth and about 1/2 cup of the puree I stirred in while my risotto cooked. I also added 2 cloves of minced garlic, finely chopped small onion and a few springs of fresh thyme leaves.

Latin Love for Eggplant

After flipping through a new cookbook I received from last night’s Cookbook Swap, I was inspired to give our dinner a Latin twist today. Another task I had at hand was to reintroduce eggplant to my husband. He doesn’t like eggplant but I’ve asked him to give it another try. Apparently he last had eggplant as a child… so tonight I needed to be creative and successful in my attempts.

Combining both latin flavors and eggplant was the mission and here’s what I decided on for dinner – roasted eggplant, tomato & goat cheese quesadillas, accompanied by a tex-mex chopped salad with spicy oven roasted chicken. The verdict? He loved the quesadillas!Here’s my recipe for roasted eggplant, tomato & goat cheese quesadillas:
1 medium eggplant
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ripe tomato
olive oil
3 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped italian parsley
3-5 large flour tortillas (10″ size)

Seasonings: 1 teaspoon of each
salt
black pepper
cumin
chili powder
onion powder
garlic powder
paprika
sazon seasoning w/cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all seasonings in a small bowl and mix.
Cut eggplant in 1/2 inch circles.
Brush slices with olive oil & sprinkle seasoning mix on both sides.
In a saute pan, pan roast eggplant until brown.
Transfer slices to a baking sheet.
After eggplant slices have been browned, add onions and garlic in pan with some olive oil.
Cook until onions are translucent.
Add chopped tomatoes and remaining seasoning left.
Saute until warmed through and place onion tomato mixture over eggplant slices.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Place cooled eggplant/tomato mixture into a bowl.
Cut goat cheese in chunks and place in bowl.
Combine gently with chopped parsley.
Fill tortillas with this filling and begin making the quesadillas.
To make the quesadillas, fill half the tortilla with the filling.
Fold over the tortilla to create a half circle.
You can either grill or pan fry quesadillas until tortilla is warmed through.
Tonight I baked them in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
Serve with sour cream and your favorite quesadilla condiments.

Tex mex chopped salad

Tex mex chopped salad w/spicy roasted chicken
& cilantro lime vinaigrette

Spicy Roasted Chicken:
cut up chicken pieces
olive oil
Seasonings: 1 teaspoon of each
salt
black pepper
cumin
chili powder
onion powder
garlic powder
paprika
sazon seasoning w/cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all seasonings in a small bowl and mix.
Season chicken pieces with seasoning mix liberally.
Place seasoned chicken in dutch oven.
Pour olive oil over chicken.
Bake in preheated oven uncovered for 1 hour.
Allow chicken to cool.
Debone chicken and add to the following salad…
Tex Mex Chopped Salad:
romaine lettuce, chopped
spinach leaves, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
1/2 can of sweet corn, drained
1 small cucumber or pickle, diced
1 roma tomato, seeded & chopped
a few baby carrots, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
chopped, deboned spicy roasted chicken
crushed tortilla chips

Combine above salad ingredients except tortilla chips and toss.
Serve with the cilantro lime vinaigrette below.
Top with crushed tortilla chips.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
juice of 1 lime
olive oil
handful of chopped cilantro (or to your taste)
salt, pepper & sazon con cilantro to taste