Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bison Carnitas Tacos

I’m the queen of grabbing random cuts of high quality meat when they go on sale, and stashing the meat in the deep freeze until I figure out what to do with it. My local grocery keeps organic bison in stock, but it doesn’t get marked down all that often. I was quite excited to nab two packages of bison stew meat, but I just didn’t know what to do with them. I love cooking bison, as it’s full of flavor, and much healthier than beef. Admittedly I’ve never cooked bison stew meat before! I suppose that like beef stew meat, it shines best when cooked slow & low. I never found any recipes specifically for bison stew meat that appealed enough to me, so I searched for beef stew meat recipes and found one for carnitas. We love tacos, so I hoped this would be good!

I did a few adaptions to the original recipe, and cooked this in my Le Crueset dutch oven. The meat turned out SO flavorful and juicy. Paired with a tasty margarita and combined with fresh taco toppings, this was quite the special meal! For toppings I did a fresh tomato/onion/avocado salsa, quick pickled red onion, cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro. I’m including the salsa recipe and you can find the quick pickled red onion recipe here.

Print
Print

Bison Carnitas

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

CARNITAS:
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds bison stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 large unpeeled orange wedge

QUICK SALSA:
2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 2 medium)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

FOR TACOS:
corn tortillas
quick pickled onion
1 lime cut into 8 pieces
cotija cheese
cilantro

Directions:

CARNITAS: Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add bison; sauté 5 minutes or until meat is browned on all sides. Stir in broth, sugar, salt & pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and paprika; nestle orange section into bison mixture. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 ½ hours or until bison is tender. Remove and discard orange. Continue simmering, uncovered, 8 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Shred meat.

SALSA: Combine tomato, onion, avocado, 2 Tbsp cilantro, 1 Tbsp lime juice, salt & pepper in a medium bowl; toss well.

TACOS ASSEMBLY: Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/4 cup Bison Carnitas onto each tortilla; top each with pickled onion slices and about 3 tablespoons avocado salsa mixture. Fold in half; sprinkle with cotija cheese and fresh cilantro, serve with lime wedges.

Carnitas and Salsa recipes via Cooking Light

Supposedly this recipe yields 6 servings. However I got closer to 8. I even froze half of it after cooking by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and putting it in a ziplock freezer bag.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Quick Pickled Red Onion

Quick pickled onions are so fast and simple to make. Obviously I didn’t come up with this concept, but I make them enough, and have used them as a topping for quite a handful of other recipes I felt it was time they got their own post on my blog. Plus, now when people ask me how they make them I can point them to my blog!

As someone who abhors raw red onion, I was quick surprised at how much I like pickled red onion. I’ve used these to top homemade bibimbap bowls, Korean Barbecue Burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and most recently on some bison carnitas (recipe coming next!). My 2 year old even likes to eat them as a snack!

Print
Print

Quick Pickled Red Onion

Yield: about seven 1/2 cup servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

Whisk first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and chill. Drain onions before using.

7 Servings, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 10 Fat

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spring Tortellini Soup

We love to use tortellini in one pot recipes and soups in our house. I went looking for a recipe similar to something I’ve made in the past, but spring-inspired. I was trying to keep the ingredients list low, but flavor high. I’m so glad I found this recipe. I had to do some variations based on what I could find in our local grocery, as the original recipe called for broccolini and I could only find broccoli. And I also used turkey kielbasa instead of Italian-style chicken sausage. I’m glad the ingredients list was small, because I packed up everything and hit the road to visit my sister’s family 4 hours away, to welcome their new baby girl.

The night I made the soup my kids were too busy playing with their cousin to really eat much. But when we had leftovers the following night, they loved it! My son even asked if I could make it again another night. Granted, my children did some vegetable trading, as one kid likes peas but not broccoli and vice versa. I was super impressed with the flavor of this! I was a tad bit worried the pea flavor would be too strong, but it ends up being just perfect. This was a great combination of flavors, and I can’t wait to eat it again!

Print
Print

Spring Tortellini Soup

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

14 ounces turkey kielbasa, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (*I used Better Than Bouillion + water)
12 ounces broccoli, trimmed and chopped
1 9 - ounce package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

Directions:

In a 4- to 6-quart saucepan, brown kielbasa in hot olive oil over medium heat. Add broth; bring to boiling. Add tortellini and thyme; cook 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook 3 to 5 minutes more or until tortellini is done and broccoli is just tender.

Servings Per Recipe 6, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0, sodium (mg) 1273, fiber (g) 4, cal. (kcal) 298, iron (mg) 3, vit. A (IU) 730, Fat, total (g) 10, vit. C (mg) 63, sugar (g) 5, Potassium (mg) 526, pro. (g) 23, calcium (mg) 126, carb. (g) 30, Niacin (mg) 3, Monounsaturated fat (g) 2, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, chol. (mg) 59, Thiamin (mg) 0, sat. fat (g) 3, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Folate (µg) 64, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0, Trans fatty acid (g) 0

Adapted from Midwest Living

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Chocolate Flecked Pistachio Ice Cream

IMG_6748-2

You know that saying about not missing something until it’s gone? Well, my ice cream maker sat sad & unused in my deep freeze for a long time. One day I finally made a quick & simple recipe I never even blogged (but should have). After the freezer bowl thawed, I decided since I don’t make ice cream often I shouldn’t keep the bowl frozen all the time, as it takes up space. So I moved it to the pantry where it sat for another long amount of time. Fast forward to fall (maybe even summer??) when a coworker mentioned they got a new KitchenAid stand mixer, so I offered up my ice cream maker attachment on loan. OF COURSE all I could think about after that was making ice cream.

When I got it back, I didn’t wait too long to finally make a new batch! While I have a ton of recipes I already know & love (but haven’t added to since 2012!) I knew I wanted to try something different. I decided to go with a Jeni’s Ice Cream recipe for pistachio ice cream. In the past I’ve also enjoyed Talenti Gelato’s pistachio gelato, but I don’t like that they have pieces of pistachio in the ice cream. I just don’t like nuts in my ice cream. I knew I wanted to bump up the flavor so I decided to chop dark chocolate in my food processor until I had tiny shavings. I love bits of chocolate that don’t crunch, but melt when they hit your mouth.

I gotta say, I think this ice cream really hit it out of the park! The pistachio flavor, which comes from real pistachios really shines through. It was worth getting raw fingers from shelling all the pistachios. (Y’all know I’m too cheap to buy them already shelled.) And just as I had hoped, the chocolate warmed with each bite & melted for the perfect pairing. If you’re a pistachio fan, or are just looking for a sophisticated ice cream to try, look no further.

Print
Print

Chocolate Flecked Pistachio Ice Cream

Ingredients:

6 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped or shaved
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup toasted pistachios, very finely ground
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the pistachios, almond extract and salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. Then transfer to the refrigerator to cool 2 hours or more.

Strain the ice cream base, pressing the pistachios with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor. Pour base into ice cream maker and churn to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container, blending in shaved chocolate with a spatula or spoon. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the pistachio ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.

slightly adapted from Jeni's Ice Cream via Food & Wine

*If you didn’t catch the link at the top, I have this KitchenAid Stand Mixer Ice Cream Attachment. I love it! A must have if you already have the stand mixer, and love ice cream.*