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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Loaded Mexican Baked Avocados

Loaded Mexican Baked Avocados_menumusings.com
I don't even know if this is enough of a "recipe" to put on here.  It was just something I did for breakfast and shared with friends - who asked me to put it on the blog.   I had an extra avocado lying around that was gorgeous, but had no real intended purpose.  I surely didn't want it to go bad.  I mean, have you seen the price of these things? 

I absolutely love Mexican flavors and had all these things in the fridge, so I decided to put them together for an easy, healthy breakfast.   You know avocados are super healthy for you, right?  They are rich in monounsaturated fat, omega-3 fat, and very low in carbohydrates. Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are also a great source of B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K. They have the highest fiber content of any fruit.  So this is one Mexican recipe that you don't have to feel bad about eating.  Feel free to tweak to your preference.  It's just an idea.  If you've never tried a baked avocado, you are MISSING OUT!  They become so creamy and smooth.  Yummm.   So y'all have fun with this.

#cleaneating #glutenfree #hearthealthy #healthy #breakfast #vegetarian #keto #lowcarb #avocado #mexican Option for #dairyfree #paleo #whole30
Loaded Mexican Baked Avocados_menumusings.comIngredients - 
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 eggs (one per each side)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Pico de gallo (prepared)
  • Shredded cheese of your choice 
    • Omit for #dairyfree #paleo #whole30 
  • Chopped cilantro 
Method:
Step 1 - Cut avocado open and remove pit.  Scoop out a bit of flesh with a small spoon (save for your avocado toast. 😁)
Step 2 - Gently crack and egg into each well that you have created.  Season with salt and pepper.  
jStep 3 - Bake 400F x 25 minutes until the white is set but the yolk is still lovely and runny.
Step 4 - Top with your favorite Mexican toppings:  Shredded cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro, etc. 


Loaded Mexican Baked Avocados_menumusings.com

Bonus Recipes - 
Cornbread Cowboy Chili - tender cornbread and your favorite chili.  Winning combination!

Mardi Gras Pasta - So easy and kid friendly for a weeknight meal.

Indian Chicken Korma - An Indian food favorite made easy!

Spicy Fried Cauliflower Bites - A fabulous #kidfriendly way to eat this amazing vegetable.

Toasted Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes - Great side dish or entree salad with chicken.

Beef and Sweet Potato Moroccan Tagine

It's no secret to y'all that I love the warm, exotic flavors of the whole Spice Trade Route that historically connected the East to the West.  This is the route that connected the Arab world with the North African people, the Indian subcontinent and parts of Asia.   The tagine is named for the earthenware pot (of the same name) in which it is cooked, and has been served traditionally in Morocco and Middle Eastern countries since at least the ninth century.  The traditional tagine is painted or glazed pottery consisting of two parts: a circular base unit that is flat with low sides and a large cone- or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to return moisture via condensation to the bottom.  This would have been useful in areas with very limited water supplies since the process returns water to the dish and thus requires minimal added water.  Users can facilitate this process by adding cold water into the little well at the top of the lid.  The tagine stew is meant to be slow braised, a process that can be somewhat mimicked in a slow cooker. 
Beef and sweet potato moroccan tagine_menumusing.com
The savory stew of the tagine is a flavor explosion of sweet and sour with a flavor profile similar to that of many Indian foods.  Although the dish can be made vegetarian, slow braised pieces of meat protein are typically used, with added vegetables and often dried fruit.  Common spice additions include  ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and saffron.  In addition, paprika and chili are often used in vegetable tagines.  The meal is usually served with bread or over couscous, but you may enjoy it over rice.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #cleaneating #beef #african #moroccan #tagine #sugarfree #soyfree #healthy Options included for #whole30 #paleo #InstantPot #slowcooker

Ingredients:  (4-6 servings)
  • 1 - 1.5 pounds beef chuck steak, cut into cubes
    Beef and sweet potato moroccan tagine_menumusing.com
    • use grass fed beef for #whole30 or #paleo
    • lamb would be perfect in this recipe as well 
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 lg onion, sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp garlic paste
  • 1-2 Tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom 
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 1 cup stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained
    • omit for #paleo or #whole30
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato 
    • could also use butternut squash 
  • 2 cups chicken stock
    • use homemade for #whole30 or #paleo
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Note - it is customary to add some dried fruit such as dried apricots or raisins to the tagine.  I found that the sweet potatoes were sweet enough.  But if you choose butternut squash, I would add in about 1/2 cup or so of dried apricots.

Step-by-Step: 
Cut chuck steak into cubes (maybe a little bigger than bite sized.  They will shrink.) and season well with kosher salt and black pepper.
1 - 1.5 pounds beef or lamb stew meat
Add olive oil to heavy skillet (preferably not nonstick) and add beef to hot oil.  Perhaps consider doing this in two batches.  If you add too many, they won't sear as well.  You can see that I have overcrowded my pan because I was feeling lazy.  😒
about 1 Tbsp EVOO
Remove seared beef cubes from pan with slotted spoon or spatula.  Note:  They are NOT cooked through yet, just seared on the outside.   We will finish cooking them in the oven. 
To the same pan, add sliced onions.  You may need to add a little more oil.  Maybe not.  You judge.  Turn down the heat and cook until they are nice and golden and soft.  This might take a while.
1 medium sized onion, sliced
To the cooked onions, add in the garlic and ginger.  I have used a paste (in the tube) because I find it SO convenient and a big time saver in prepping.  You may use finely minced fresh garlic and ginger if you'd prefer.  Let them cook about a minute or so.  Just enough time to start getting your seasonings together.   
1-2 Tbsp garlic paste 
1-2 Tbsp ginger paste
You may find it best to turn down your heat to low/simmer as you don't want the onions, garlic etc to burn while you are adding seasonings.   Add all seasonings to the onion mixture. 
2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
Stir ingredients and then add stewed tomatoes, drained chickpeas and cubed sweet potato.
1 cup stewed tomatoes
1 cup drained chickpeas
1 sweet potato, cubed
To your tagine (or slow cooker) (or Dutch oven), add the beef, vegetable mixture and chicken stock.  We need this to be really soupy right now because we will braise it for a few hours.


Beef and sweet potato moroccan tagine_menumusing.com
2 cups chicken stock
Stir to combine, cover and braise the stew at 350F for about 3.5 hours. 
Beef and sweet potato moroccan tagine_menumusing.com
After a few hours, the meat and veggies should be tender and the stew should be a nice consistency.  Notice how the level of liquid has dropped as the sauce has reduced.   
Beef and sweet potato moroccan tagine_menumusing.com
handful of chopped cilantro
To finish, add a handful of chopped fresh cilantro to brighten everything. 
Beef and sweet potato moroccan tagine_menumusing.com
Serve over rice, couscous, quinoa, farro, etc.  Or it would also be great if you just serve it in a bowl with some hot toasty naan. 

INSTANT POT -  (will need additional tomato paste, and less stock)
Step 1. Heat olive oil in your pressure cooker.  Brown meat for a few minutes, in batches if necessary. Set aside. 

Step 2. Deglaze the pot with a bit of stock or water to loosen the fond (browned bits) from the bottom of the pot.  Add the sliced onion and cook for five minutes, stirring, until softened.
Step 3. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and stir to release the aromas.
Step 4. Return the meat to the pot and stir to combine. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and stock.  Stir to combine.
Step 5. Add the stewed tomatoes, chickpeas and hot stock.  (Reduce amount of stock to 1 cup. Add in some tomato paste as a thickener.) 
Step 6. Cover, set vent to sealing and cook for 30 minutes minutes at high pressure. Allow for 10 minutes natural pressure release then manually release the remaining steam.
Step 7. Taste and season if necessary. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with couscous or rice.
SLOW COOKER - (will need 2 cups stock and some tomato paste)
Step 1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Cook the onions, stirring, for about five minutes until softened.

Step 2. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and stir.

Step 3. Add the meat to the pot and stir to combine, cooking for 5 minutes.

Step 4. Stir in tomato paste.
Step 5. Put ingredients in the slow cooker.  Stir in stewed tomatoes, chickpeas and stock.  
Step 6.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for about 6 hours.
Step 7. Taste and season if necessary. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with couscous or rice.
Beef and sweet potato moroccan tagine_menumusing.com
TAGINE or DUTCH OVEN - 
Step 1.  Cut chuck steak into cubes (maybe a little bigger than bite sized.  They will shrink.) and season well with kosher salt and black pepper.

Step 2. Add olive oil to heavy skillet (preferably not nonstick) and add beef to hot oil.  Perhaps consider doing this in two batches.  If you add too many, they won't sear as well.  

Step 3. Remove seared beef cubes from pan with slotted spoon or spatula.  Note:  They are NOT cooked through yet, just seared on the outside.   We will finish cooking them in the oven. 

Step 4. To the same pan, add sliced onions.  You may need to add a little more oil.  Maybe not.  You judge.  Turn down the heat and cook until they are nice and golden and soft.  This might take a while.
To the cooked onions, add in the garlic and ginger.  I have used a paste (in the tube) because I find it SO convenient and a big time saver in prepping.  You may use finely minced fresh garlic and ginger if you'd prefer.  Let them cook about a minute or so.  Just enough time to start getting your seasonings together.   

Step 5. You may find it best to turn down your heat to low/simmer as you don't want the onions, garlic etc to burn while you are adding seasonings.   Add all seasonings to the onion mixture. 

Step 6.  Stir ingredients and then add stewed tomatoes, drained chickpeas and cubed sweet potato. 

Step 7. To your tagine (or slow cooker) (or Dutch oven), add the beef, vegetable mixture and chicken stock.  We need this to be really soupy right now because we will braise it for a few hours.  Stir to combine, cover and braise the stew at 350F for about 3.5 hours.   After a few hours, the meat and veggies should be tender and the stew should be a nice consistency.  

Step 8.  To finish, add a handful of chopped fresh cilantro to brighten everything.  Serve over rice, couscous, quinoa, farro, etc.  Or it would also be great if you just serve it in a bowl with some hot toasty naan. 

Bonus Recipes -
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos - a healthy makeover to this amazing Mexican favorite.
Corn Cakes with Cilantro Lime Cream  - awesome gluten free, clean eating side dish
Reduced Fat BLT Mac and Cheese - who doesn't need a healthier mac and cheese in their lives?
Easy Beefy Enchiladas - a family favorite for taco tuesdays. Really easy.  Freezes great!
5-Ingredient Berry Crisp Dump Cake - so so so easy.  Perfect for unexpected guests or last minute recipes to bring over somewhere. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Tavern Grilled Cheese

Tavern Grilled Cheese_menumusings.com
When I had Asiago (my former cafe) open, we used to make this sandwich.  We probably made it as a special about every two weeks or so.  Every single time we made it we sold out.  Scouts honor.  The thing I want to point out to you is, this is a fantastic use for your leftover pot roast!  That's actually how the recipe came about in the first place.  My family ALWAYS has leftovers when I make a big roast.  I bet yours does, too.  We love the leftovers, but one day I was looking for something different to do with them.

This could not be easier.  I mean seriously, it's kicked up grilled cheese with shredded pot roast!  Some sliced tomatoes, a salad, some salty fries or something acidic on the side go well with it since it's pretty rich.  But this is definitely a hearty, filling sandwich!

Tavern Grilled Cheese_menumusings.com#foodhack #leftovers #sandwich #familyfriendly 
#quick #easy #comfortfood #lunch

Ingredients:
Step-by-Step:
The first thing you need to do is to get your leftover pot roast and pull it apart.  I just use a couple of forks for this.  Oh, and you can save yourself some time by doing this ahead of time.  In case you are wondering, for a whole chuck roast (about 5 pounds or so), I could get about 14 - 16 sandwiches.  But of course that won't be the case with leftovers.  It will just depend on how much you have left. 

If you are going to divide the cooked roast ahead of time, you can put the measured meat into small baggies or reusable containers of about 1/4 cup each.
When ready to prepare sandwiches, butter the bread.  (Oddly enough, mayo works well for this job, too.  It creates a beautiful brown crust.)  There are only a few recipes that I use white bread for.  Grilled cheese is one of them.
Layer your bread with slices of creamy Havarti and a 1/4 cup scoop of warmed pot roast.  I like to warm it first to begin the process.  Cold meat does not lend itself well to good sandwich making when you are trying to melt cheese.



With buttered sides out, obviously, make your grilled cheese until GDB - golden brown and delicious!  - and melty!   It's best if you don't have your pan or griddle up too high for this.  A panini press will work great, too.

Let's also talk about that gravy that came with the roast.  Dip some of that out of the pot or tupperware or whatever you had it in.  Warm some up and serve some on the side for dipping.  Yes I did say that!  Not au jus.  This is full on GRAVY!  Yummm.  Everything about gravy says "comfort."
As a matter of fact, this whole lot does - toasted bread, roast, melty cheese, gravy... I bet you can just taste it now!
Tavern Grilled Cheese_menumusings.com

To have a look at the MenuMusings cookbook...
What a great gift for your senior about to graduate, those "moms" in your life for mother's day, your friends who just moved into their own apartment or house.  Each recipe with step-by-step photos and links back to the blog!

Bonus recipes - 
Individual White Chocolate and Raspberry Bread Puddings - great for a dinner party!

Pickle Brined Fried Chicken - one of my kids' favorites!  Yes it sounds weird, but tastes suspiciously like the chicken at Chick-fil-a.

Beefy Crunch Wrap Supremes - move over Taco Bell!  Call all the kids and teenagers in for this!

Overnight Stuffed French Toast Rollups - Brunch? Sleepovers?  Breakfast in bed? 😁

Puff Pastry Breakfast Pizzas - Something for everyone.  Grownups and kidlets alike. 

Easy Family Favorite Meatloaf - a good basic recipe (oh, and gluten free as well)

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