Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fritos ... not just for lunch

I had a hankering for chili ... yes I know it's 98 degrees with 95% humidity but I could just about taste the spiciness of the jalapeno peppers and ancho chili powder. 

So here is a quick summer time chili recipe to be served over big scoop Fritos.

1 pound ground beef of your choice (I wanna try this with bison)
4 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and chunked
1 large can tomato sauce
1/2 onion diced
1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced - seeds and all
Ancho chili powder to taste 
Ground Cumin to taste
Salt to taste
dash of sugar

Let's talk about the "salt to taste" ... I saute the onions and pepper together and sprinkle with salt, this helps sweat the onions. I add the ground beef and sprinkle with salt, not much just a pinch here and there. I'm not shy to use salt but I also think that if you use good fresh ingredients you don't need a lot of it.

After I brown the ground beef I add in chunked tomatoes and the sauce, toss in spices to taste, depending on the amount of heat your tongue can take. I let the chili simmer for about an hour and it got nice and thick.

Notice no beans ... this is a no beans chili ... why ... cause I don't want beans on my Fritos.

Place big scoop Fritos in bowl, spoon chili on top, then add anything else you think your dish needs ... you can add sour cream, cheese, picked jalapenos or even more hot sauce. 

Grab a cold beer and sit back and enjoy

Until Next Time
Forks Up


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gnocchi with Pesto

Last weekend I was inspired to create something with the basil in my garden that was turning into a big bush so I needed to start using it before I start freezing it for soup.

Here are my pesto fixings .. 

1 cup fresh spinach
20/30 leaves of fresh basil
juice from one lemon
Gourmet Garden  Cilantro - 2 tablespoons
1/3 cup of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
1 to 2 cloves of garlic crushed 
I don't mince my garlic, I'd rather chop it and then smash with salt, this takes the bitter out of the garlic and because I'm not cooking it I would rather have the flavor then the bitter.

I chop, sprinkle with salt then smash with my knife

My secret ingredient ...

Red Pepper flakes..if you've not tried Penzeys Spices pop over to their website..they seriously have some of the best spices I've ever used. I place several shakes, I don't measure, this is just a by taste thing.

I put all of the ingredients into my food processor..

Cook up the gnocchi according to the directions on the package..

I don't drain the gnocchi in a colander because it will get smushed (yes smushed is a real word)
I use my wire wok ladle and place in glass bowl and spoon pesto over gnocchi.

For this dinner I decided to make salmon on the grill to go over the gnocchi...

We love our salmon with a little Cajun Foreplay from Dinosaur BBQ
I have to give a shout out to our friend Neal for giving us this bottle, when I run out I'll be ordering online because it is perfect on fish, chicken, pork, burgers..heck it's good on everything.
On the grill the fish went..
off the grill and on to the plate..

The recipe made enough to have two dinners...first night fish...
second night I sauteed some chicken, added a little chicken broth, threw in the gnocchi and
another yummy dinner.

I hope you give my little recipe a try and let me know what you think..

Until Next Time
Forks UP


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cheating ... But Not Really

We've all heard it ... Fresh is Best 
While I do agree sometimes there are factors that keep us from using fresh. Time, convenience, availability, you name it there are reasons that we can't always use fresh.

In the summer I grow basil, and I have a nice fresh sage plant in my herb bed but the one herb that I've tried to grow with little success is Cilantro ... and I love cilantro so I have found a solution to my problem ... 

These stir-in paste herbs from Gourmet Garden

Cilantro and Ginger are always in my fridge and in the winter I keep the basil on hand. I recently discovered their Hot Chili and I'll be trying this the next time I make Thai Swordfish. I've not tried the garlic so would love to hear if you have...

So tell me ... is it really cheating if it's still homemade?

Until Next Time
Forks Up