Thursday, July 18, 2019

Farfalle and Summer Vegetables

Normally this time of the year we'd be asshole deep in produce from our garden. However, weeks and weeks of cold rain at the start of the season moved straight into oppressive heat and humidity. All our plants are stunted. Fortunately, there's a farmer's market in town where we can make up the difference. This is one of my favorite summer pasta dishes, especially because it is even good cold. It's quick and easy to make, uses up surplus produce, and can be modified. Add some shrimp or Crabuluxe. Throw in some Spanish chorizo. Add some shredded baked chicken. Add some zing with olives or capers. Maybe some artichoke hearts? The sky's the limit.

Farfalle and Summer Vegetables 

  • 1 box (16 oz.) farfalle or other short pasta
  • 1 pint cherry or roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to directions, but shave a minute off the end. You want the pasta to have a little bite and it's going to cook a bit in the sauce you're about to make.
  2. In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the garlic from burning.
  3. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the zucchini starts to get tender and the tomatoes start to break down.
  4. Turn down the heat and add the cream and cheese. Cook at a simmer for another couple of minutes.
  5. Add the pasta. Toss over low heat for a minute or two to make sure everything is coated. Salt and pepper to taste.
Good times!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Steak Chimichangas

Bit of history: my dad and I used to go to this Mexican restaurant, Las Palmas, where we would always order the same thing. "Number 11 with steak." It was rice and beans, a chili relleno, steak burrito, and steak chimichanga. That steak chimichanga was always what I would save for last. It was absolutely amazing. I decided I was going to try my hand at replicating it. While I didn't exactly nail it, I did make a damn good steak chimichanga that even Deadpool would approve of. They were actually super easy to make and there's room for customization. You could easily switch with chicken, pork, or ground beef. Give it a try. Or don't. More for me. As always, notes are in blue.

Steak Chimichangas (makes 4)

  • 1-1/2 pound top sirloin, cut into cubes (feel free to use stew meat if you want)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup refried beans (we just used canned refried beans from Aldi)
  • 1 can 8oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (again, right from the can)
  • 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • 4 large (10") flour tortillas
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • shredded cheese of your choice (optional)

  1. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the cubed meat, onion and adobo seasoning. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until meat is browned and onions are starting to get soft. Remove from heat.
  2. In a bowl, add refried beans, tomato sauce, and chipotle pepper. Mix ingredients until they are all incorporated. 
  3. Take 1/2 of the sauce and add it to the meat. Mix until meat is evenly coated.
  4. In a deep cast iron pan (if you don't have cast iron, find something you can fry in) heat about 2" of vegetable oil. 
  5. Fun part, take 1/4 of the meat mixture and put it in the center of the tortilla.
    Visual aid.
    Roll the tortilla into a burrito shape using your favorite tortilla rolling method. There are tons on the internet. We just picked one that basically had us fold one side over, tuck in the sides, then roll it up. Like I said, hit YouTube, somebody more competent than I can show you how to do it. 
  6. Drop the bad boy into the hot oil. One at a time. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, then flip it over and do another 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown all around. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat process 3 more times!
  7. Serve chimichanga on it's own, or top with the reserved sauce and shredded cheese.
    OH MAIS, OUIS. Wait, that's French.

    Good times!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Summer around here means one thing: It's too damned hot to turn on the oven. Seriously. I can have the house at a comfortable 70 degrees, but if I cook anything in the oven, it shoots right up to 75. This is when the slow-cooker gets dragged out. This recipe came together super fast and is extremely good over pasta or rice. In other news, I somehow managed to lose every photo I had of this recipe. I checked every memory card I had. The pictures are totally gone. I don't know, maybe I was drunk and forgot to actually take the pictures. In any case, enjoy this picture of a chicken shrugging in place of the actual dish. As always, notes are in (blue).
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

  • 2-3 (about 1.5 lb.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (feel free to use boneless, skinless thighs if you prefer)
  • 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small slice
  • 1 can (8oz) sliced mushrooms, drained (you can certainly use fresh if you prefer)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. Put chicken in the bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Unceremoniously dump everything else on top of chicken
  3. Cook on LOW for 6 hours
  4. Give everything a good stir before serving.
Good times!