spaghetti and muffin tin meatballs, garlic fat bread
chicken in a lemon herb sauce, rosemary fingerling potatoes, green beans
crockpot chicken enchilada soup, quesadillas
pork loin with white wine and herb gravy, mashed potatoes, peas
instant pot chicken tacos, black beans, chips+queso
General Tso's chicken, rice, broccoli
pizza rolls, salad

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Instant Pot Bolognese

Miss F first had Bolognese sauce on Valentine's Day at Casa Tua in Aspen. She loved it! It is such a complex tasting sauce and takes a day to make.  Enter the Instant Pot.  I found this recipe and decided to adapt it a bit to better suit my family.  I am still learning how to use the Instant Pot, but this recipe really cuts down on the time it normally takes to make Bolognese sauce.  C is quite entertained by the Instant Pot and my ineptness with it.  The first thing I made in it, I left the steam valve open...oops.  That dinner took a bit longer than it should have.  He even DVRed a pressure cooking television show for me, so I could properly learn the correct (and quick) way to cook.
Instant Pot Bolognese

4 ounces pancetta, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 pound ground beef
¾ cup red wine
1 six ounce can tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1½ cups water, hot
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni, prepared per package instructions and drained

In the cold pressure cooker with no oil or butter, with the top off, sprinkle the pancetta in a flat layer and turn on to the lowest heat possible to render the fat. After the pancetta begins to sizzle (in about 5 minutes) add the onion, carrot and celery and raise the heat to medium-low and cook until well softened (about 10 minutes). If things begin to stick you can add a little pat of butter or swirl of olive oil. Raise the heat to medium and add the ground beef and brown well stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes or until all of the liquid from the meat is evaporated and the fat begins to sizzle). Add the wine and scrape the juicy bits stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan and evaporate it completely (about 7 minutes). In the meantime, mix the tomato paste with the beef stock and add salt, pepper. Pour the stock mixture into the cooker and stir well. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure through the valve. Add hot water, stir the contents well and scrape any juicy bits from the bottom to incorporate. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure through the valve. Stir in the cream and rigatoni. Serve.
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Monday, August 22, 2016

ABCLT Chopped Salad

In the summertime, I could eat a salad every night for dinner. I do get picky about proteins in my salad, I always prefer them to be warm, cold meats just don't do it for me. I made this salad the first night back from our amazing vacation to Fiji and New Zealand. I didn't have high culinary expectations for either location, but I was pleasantly surprised by both...especially Fiji.   This salad is a take on one of my most favorite sandwiches, the ABCLT.  C was happy to trade his tomatoes for my croutons and Miss F was with my parents, so there was minimal whining about having a salad for dinner.
ABCLT Chopped Salad

4 slices bacon, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 cups chopped green leaf lettuce
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, seeded and chopped
¾ cup croutons
½ to ¾ cup ranch dressing (I like Confections of a Foodie Bride’s recipe)

Heat the bacon in skillet over medium low heat, cook until crisp. Remove the bacon to a plate and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the grease from the skillet. Add the chicken and pepper, sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and croutons. Pour ½ cup of the ranch dressing and toss well to coat. Add more dressing if necessary. Divide among for plates and serve.
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pork “Lo Mein” Ramen

I was obsessed with ramen when I was a kid. I would have a bowl nearly every day after school. I would drain the noodles and toss them with La Choy Lite Soy Sauce. It had to be La Choy Lite Soy Sauce, there was no substitution. In college, I learned to make the noodles in the microwave since I didn't have access to a stove. After college, I would come home to my loft nearly every day for lunch. One of my go tos for lunch was a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of beef ramen soup, dubbed the KT special. I always preferred ramen noodles to rice for serving stir fry, so I wanted to try using them in a lo mein recipe. It was fantastic! Totally curbed my ramen craving and added a little healthiness with a nice helping of fresh vegetables.  One thing I have yet to try is a fancy ramen noodle restaurant...I think I would be disappointed.
Pork “Lo Mein” Ramen

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup chicken broth
2 packages ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ pound pork loin chops, sliced thin
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
¼ pound snow peas
½ green bell pepper, julienned
½ cup carrots, julienned
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sesame oil

In two cup measure, whisk together the cornstarch, ginger, Sriracha, soy sauce and chicken broth. Prepare the ramen per package instructions, drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Stir fry the pork, mushrooms, snow peas, bell pepper and carrots for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds more. Pour the broth mixture over the chicken and vegetables, bring to a boil and cook for a minute more. Add the noodles and sesame oil, toss well to coat completely. Serve.
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