Harissa Lentils and Cauliflower

10 02 2015

This meatless lentil and cauliflower dinner is loaded with good nutrients and offers a unique middle eastern flavor. The homemade harissa is a little spicy, but not overpowering. By using chipotles in adobo rather than other chili peppers, you actually get a smokey flavor.

Harissa Lentils and Cauliflower

The following serves 2-3 (adapted from Naturally Ella):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 and 1/2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup reduced-fat, low sodium chicken stock, plus more as needed

For the Harissa:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime (reserve the zest and toss with cooked rice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted/charred, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, along with a little of the sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cilantro

Add all the harissa ingredients to a high-powered blender in the order listed. Turn on high and pulse until well combined. Remove from blender and set aside.

Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for a minute or so until beginning to soften. Add the cauliflower and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils and toast for a few minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, harissa and 1 cup of broth. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Check often to make sure the liquid hasn’t evaporated too much. If it looks like it needs more liquid, add a little more broth. Taste and season with salt.

Serve over brown rice and garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.

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Seared Pork and Apples With Chipotle and Caramelized Onion Squash and Brussels Sprouts

10 11 2014

Here’s a hearty and healthy fall dinner loaded with flavor. The smokey chipotle and caramelized onions add a unique flavor to butternut squash, which pairs well with sweet apples and seared pork. To make this on a weeknight, roast the squash over the weekend and store covered in the fridge until ready to use.

Seared Pork and Apples With Chipotle Squash

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 double-cut boneless pork chops
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Smoked paprika
  • 2 small apples, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Baby Brussels sprouts, rough end trimmed
  • Low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

To save yourself time, roast the squash in advance and store covered in the fridge. To roast, preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringing flesh with a spoon. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt to taste. Roast on a baking sheet for 45-60 minutes, until you’re able to easily scoop out the flesh to turn into a puree. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin, and either store covered in the fridge, or move onto the next steps.

Preheat, or turn oven up to 400 degrees.

Heat a Tbsp or so of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and cook, untouched, until they start to brown on the bottom. Stir, and lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook and brown. After about 10 minutes, season with salt to taste and lower heat to low. Continue to cook until dark brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, toss baby Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil and salt to taste on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, or until well browned.

Meanwhile, season pork with salt, granulated garlic and smoked paprika to taste on both sides. Heat some olive oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Add pork and sear until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and brown the other side another 2-3 minutes. Remove pork to a plate. Lower heat to medium-low, make sure to give the pan time to lower temp. Add apples and diced onions and cook for a minute or so, scrapping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with salt to taste and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Deglaze pan with apple cider and cook for a minute. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and bring to a bubble, stirring to combine. Nestle the pork back in the pan, cover with a lid and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes to finish cooking the pork. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the squash to a food processor along with 1/2 cup chicken stock, the chipotle in adobo, half of the caramelized onions and salt to taste. Puree until smooth. Add the pureed squash to the pan with the rest of the caramelized onions, stir to combine and heat through over medium-low heat. Add a little apple cider until you reach your desired consistency. Mix well, taste and adjust salt if needed.

To serve, dish out the Brussels sprouts and pureed squash, top with pork. Add a layer of apples and sauce over the pork and garnish with chopped parsley.





Chipotle Beef and Black Bean Chilaquiles

9 10 2014

Chilaquiles are a popular Mexican breakfast, great for using up day-old tortillas which are crisped up and tossed in sauce. But this spicy and bold-flavored version makes for a delicious dinner too! This meal is also great for using up overripe tomatoes too, because you’ll never know the difference once you quickly puree them. I love finding creative ways to use up ingredients that might otherwise get tossed.

Chipotle Beef and Black Bean Chilaquiles

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Everyday With Rachel Ray):

  • 1 cup dry organic black beans
  • Low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground chipotle chile pepper
  • Granulated garlic
  • Ground coriander
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 6 whole grain small tortillas (or 3 large), quartered
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, plus some of the adobo sauce (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 lb organic ground beef
  • 1 lb tomatoes, pureed in a Vitamix or high-powered blender
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Lime juice
  • Eggs, one per person
  • Reduced-fat, shredded Mexican cheese blend

Either the night before, or the morning you want to serve this, soak the dry black beans in 3 cups of water for at least 8 hours. Drain the beans and add to a medium pot. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add spices – about 1.5 tsp cumin, 1 tsp each of chipotle chile pepper and granulated garlic and 1/2 tsp of coriander. Mix well, cover and cook over medium for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the liquid seems to be evaporating too quickly, just add a little bit more chicken broth. During the last 10 minutes, stir in the diced chiles.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Lay tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. You can use day-old tortillas here to help use up leftovers you may have. Once crisp, remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Next add dry spices and let them toast. Add 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp coriander. Next add the chipotle in adobo and the sauce. Mix spices together, breaking up the chipotle well. Next add the ground beef, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon. Mix the spices into the meat well, and saute beef until browned and cooked through. Season with salt to taste and add pureed tomatoes. Mix well and bring to a low bubble, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5-10 minutes. You want the sauce to be on the loose side because you’re going to toss the tortilla into it, so if it looks to thick, add some chicken broth to thin out. Season lightly with salt to taste.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add the tortillas and stir into the meat sauce to fully cover the tortillas.

In another skillet with some oil heated, fry one egg per person until the whites are just set and the eggs are sunny-side up, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, dish out some of the meat sauce and tortillas on each plate. Top with some black beans and garnish with cilantro and green onions. Squeeze on some lime juice, then top each plate with a fried egg. Garnish with shredded cheese and more cilantro and green onions.





Chipotle Crab, Corn and Bacon Bisque

15 09 2014

It’s really felt like fall around CLE this past week. The crisp air was calling for a bisque or chowder, especially after we ended up with corn and thick-cut bacon from our Fresh Fork Market share. This bisque features sweet crab and corn paired with the smokey flavors of chipotle and bacon. So delicious and comforting, and perfect for enjoying on a cool Saturday night. Make the whole batch and dive into the leftovers throughout the week!

Chipotle Crab, Corn and Bacon Bisque

The following serves 6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut smoked pork bacon, diced
  • 6 corn cobs (if you can, use leftover grilled corn cobs)
  • 4 cups skim milk (I use skim milk for a healthier option, but for a richer flavor you can use cream or whole milk instead)
  • 3 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 small white or candy onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 chipotle in adobo
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • Corn from 4 corn cobs
  • 16 oz wild caught crab meat, drained
  • Chopped cilantro

In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and add diced bacon. Cook bacon until crisp, stirring often. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.

To the bacon drippings, add the onion, celery and carrots and saute veggies for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 6 corn cobs (kernels removed) to a large pot and cover with milk and chicken stock. (When I make grilled corn, I’ll cut the corn off the cob after it’s grilled and then freeze the cobs to use in soups like this later. You could of course use fresh corn instead). Heat over medium and bring to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low for about 20-25 minutes to infuse the flavor of the cobs into the liquid. Remove cobs from the liquid and discard.

Add the minced garlic and salt to taste to your sautéed veggies and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Next add the tomato paste and chipotle in adobo (add the whole chipotle, 1 for less heat 2 for more heat). Cook for a minute or so, stirring everything together. Next add the flour, stir to combine, and cook for another minute (use 1/3 cup for a slightly thicker consistency if you’d like).

Deglaze with the wine, whisking to combine. Cook until the wine is nearly evaporated and gets nice and thick. Next whisk in the warmed milk and stock, along with the sherry. Simmer on low until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste.

Remove from the heat and puree until smooth using an immersion blender. Turn the heat back onto low and add the corn (to cut the corn off the cobs, put a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl, stand the corn straight up and from the top to the bottom, cut the corn off the cob using a large knife – the large bowl will collect the kernels). Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt if needed. Fold in the crab gently just before serving.

Serve bisque garnished with crisp bacon and chopped cilantro.





Grilled Chicken With Chipotle-Watermelon Sauce and Grilled Corn, Pepper and Cucumber Salad

27 08 2014

Tonight’s dinner is deliciously smokey and loaded with flavor, thanks to some good seasoning, the grill and gorgeous produce from Fresh Fork Market. I have been enjoying the yellow watermelon we got in our share last week as a snack. But tonight I thought it’s sweet flesh would pair beautifully in a sauce with the smokey heat of chipotle. Oh yeah, total winner! Pair it with a cool salad packed with sweet corn and cucumber for a healthy, farm-fresh meal.

Grilled Chicken with Chipotle Watermelon Sauce and Corn Salad

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, visible fat trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 3 ears of sweet corn, shucked
  • 1-2 chipotles and adobo with some of the sauce (2 for more heat, 1 for less)
  • 1 heaping cup chopped yellow watermelon
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 heaping cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 small garden cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 1 and 3/4 cup chopped)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Cilantro, chopped

Preheat grill to 300-ish degrees.

Drizzle chicken with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt, granulated garlic and chipotle chile pepper to taste on both sides. Set aside.

Drizzle corn with a little olive oil and grill covered, 3-5 per side, flipping occasionally, until charred all around. Remove from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Once the corn is grilled and removed, add the chicken, keeping the grill slightly ajar. Grill chicken to your liking, 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and tent with foil.

Meanwhile, pulse the chipotle in adobo and watermelon in a small food processor until pureed. If it seems a little too thick, add a splash of chicken stock to thin out. Transfer to a small saucepan and add the vinegar and a good pinch of salt to taste. Cook over low heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Next work on the salad. Stand a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Taking one ear of corn at a time (once cool enough to handle), stand it up on it’s bottom end and cut the kernels off the cob from top to bottom using a large kitchen knife. Continue all the way around until the cob is clean. Do this with all three cobs. Remove the small bowl. To the bowl with the corn kernels, add the peppers and cucumber. Season with salt to taste and a little dusting of the chipotle chile pepper. Add the lime juice, a good drizzle of olive oil and some chopped cilantro. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

To serve, dish out the corn salad. Top with a piece of chicken and finish with some of the sauce.





Grilled Chicken and Brie Pretzel Sandwich With a Black Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

23 07 2014

My Orlando pretzel bun recipe adventure continues with this beautiful grilled chicken sandwich, featuring their Pretzel Hamburger Bun! I think this is pretty original if I do say so myself!

The idea for this sandwich came together based on ingredients that I had and wanted to use up. I made the black raspberry syrup for brunch one Saturday after getting some gorgeous berries from Fresh Fork Market. I served the syrup on top of baked whole wheat pancakes which was absolutely delicious. I saved the leftover syrup, and waited for an idea to ferment. And of course, it did.

The sweet syrup paired with smoky chipotle makes for a perfectly tasty sauce, great for grilled chicken. You could eat that as a dinner on its own. But top it with melted brie and enjoy between a unique pretzel bun, and you’ll take this meal to a whole new level! Just don’t be dainty about eating it, OK gals? Throw your hair back, grab some napkins and just enjoy it! 🙂

Grilled Chicken and Brie Pretzel Sandwich With a Black Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1/2 cup black raspberry simple syrup, you could also use any other jam or preserves you have – see below on how to make the syrup. For the syrup you’ll need 1 pint berries, 1/2 cup water and sugar as well as the zest of 1 orange.
  • 1 whole chipotle with a little of the adobo sauce (start with 1/2 tsp of the adobo and taste, adding more to your liking)
  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ground chipotle chile pepper
  • Slices of brie, brought to room temp
  • 2 Orlando Pretzel Hamburger Buns
  • Whole cabbage or lettuce leaves
  • Sliced shallots

Preheat grill to high.

To make the black raspberry simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup water and a 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, cooking and stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Add a pint of black raspberries (you could also use blueberries instead) and the zest of 1 orange. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until berries start to thicken, about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Using a strainer, strain the sauce into a jar, pushing liquid through with the back of a spoon (this will catch any seeds). Reserve 1/2 cup of the syrup for this meal, and store the rest in a tightly covered jar in the fridge. Use leftover syrup on waffles or pancakes – its delicious!

For the black raspberry-chipotle sauce, combine the 1/2 cup black raspberry syrup and the chipotle in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Season with a pinch of salt. Use an immersion blender or a small food processor to puree the sauce until smooth, and set aside.

Drizzle chicken breasts with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste, as well as a dusting of chipotle chile pepper. Grill on high heat until cooked through and juices run clear, 6-8 minutes per side. Remove chicken and top with a little of the sauce and sliced brie (use as much cheese as you like). Tent with foil to rest. This will also help the cheese melt.

Spread some of the black raspberry -chipotle sauce on the bottom and top of the pretzel buns. Add a few cabbage or lettuce leaves on top of the bottom bun. Next, add a piece of chicken that has the melted brie on it, next add the shallots and finish with the top of the pretzel bun. Add a toothpick to keep the sandwich together if needed.

This is a messy sandwich, so grab some napkins and just enjoy it! I recommend washing this deliciousness down with a Wild Blue beer!

More This Girl recipes featuring Orlando’s Pretzel Buns:

* Buns received courtesy of Orlando Baking Company. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.





Orange Beer Can Chicken with an Apricot-Chipotle Sauce

8 06 2014

My hubs and I belong to Fresh Fork Market, a farm buying club which sources locally grown organic meats, cheeses and produce in Cleveland, OH. Fresh Fork puts together a weekly grab bag containing items in season sourced from local, sustainable vendors. The ingredients you get each week are fresh from the farm, and can typically be used together. The summer season just started and this past week we received our first grab bag, which had some beautiful produce as well as an organic whole young chicken. Immediately, I knew Sunday’s supper would be beer can chicken!

Beer or soda-can chicken is an awesome grilling technique. Outside of preparing the chicken and turning it half-way through cooking, the grill and the can literally will do all the work for you!

I always keep a citrus salt on hand with kosher salt, lemon or orange zest and a dried herb.  I happened to have orange salt this week, creating the base flavor of this dish and the reason I choose Hoegaarden for the beer which has complimentary citrus notes. Crispy, smokey and juicy chicken paired with a sweet and spicy sauce – what’s not to love!

If you’re a member of Fresh Fork, stay tuned for more recipes using the summer share! And if you’re not a member or aren’t local to Cleveland, search for a farm buying club in your area – you won’t be sorry you did!

Orange Beer Can Chicken with an Apricot-Chipotle Sauce

The following makes 1 small bird (compliments of Cuisine at Home, Real Simple and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 organic, whole young chicken
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Orange zest
  • Dried rosemary
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) Hoegaarden beer, and an empty 12 oz can (use a beer or pop/soda can)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup sugar-free apricot preserves
  • 2-3 tsp chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Prepare your grill by lighting your grill and turning all the burners to high. Close the lid and let the temp come to 500. Then, turn off one of the burners to create indirect heat. You want to keep your grill between 325 and 400 for the duration of your grilling.

Clean out the cavity of the chicken, rinse and pat dry. Rub with 1 Tbsp olive oil and mix the rub by combining some kosher salt, orange zest, dried rosemary and red pepper flakes. Just eye ball it! Sprinkle some of the rub inside the chicken cavity. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with more of the rub, enough to coat evenly – rubbing to make sure it sticks.

Fill the empty can with the beer and poke 3 more holes in the top of the can. Arrange the chicken cavity on the can. I used a beer can chicken stand. If you don’t have one it’s ok, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was easier! If you don’t have the stand, be sure to pull the legs forward to create a tripod of sorts so the chicken stands up.

Place the chicken over the unlit portion of the grill (once the heat drops to 325-400). Cover and cook until the skin is golden brown and crisp, juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer registers 180°. Take the reading in the thickest part of the thigh, be sure not to hit a bone. The chicken will take about 1–1.5 hours. Rotate the chicken halfway through grilling (be sure to use a kitchen towel or oven mitts as the chicken will be hot). Once done, remove the chicken to a baking sheet or roaster and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is resting, make the sauce. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the apricot, chipotles, cumin and a 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often until slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and remove from heat.

Remove the chicken from the can and slice. Serve sliced chicken with the apricot-chipotle sauce and either a side of veggies or a salad. I made a simple kale salad dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.