Friday, February 2, 2018

Chili Mac


This is #dinnergoals right here!

Oh, did you guys hear? There is some kind of football game this weekend that is very big and very important and requires lots of delicious foods while you watch. I have the perfect dinner for the occasion.

My recipe for Chili Mac is a mash up of a beef chili and a creamy, cheesy pasta dish. It is a little spicy and will keep you coming back for more. The chili becomes a robust, tex-mex type of meat sauce that kiiiind of puts regular marinara to shame.

To compliment that spicy goodness, we need something creamy (and, duh, cheesy because we are talking CHILI after all, so some sharp cheddar is very much needed). After the chili is cooked up, I add a bunch of hot pasta along with some of the pasta cooking water along with some sour cream to help melt that glorious cheddar into the chili/sauce. It's sort of magical and very tasty.

Now, as with most recipes I bestow upon you, it's worth mentioning that you can customize this to you and your family's liking! Prefer black beans over cannelini beans? Great! Want to tone town the spice factor? Use a bell pepper instead of the poblano. Like it a little extra spicy? Try shredded pepper jack instead of shredded cheddar! Where does it end?! (just FYI, it doesn't end until your plate is licked clean :-D)

Here's what you need for Chili Mac* (Print Recipe!)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 scallions, sliced - keep the white and dark green parts separate
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, cored and seeded, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 pound ground beef (I used 85% lean)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup cannelini beans, drained and rinse if using canned
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
10 ounces whole wheat pasta
1 cup reserved pasta water
2 tablespoons sour cream, plus more for serving
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar, plus more for serving

Here's what you do

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the white and light green parts of the scallions, garlic and diced pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened for about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook until browned and crumbled. I used a leaner beef, so there was no need to drain the fat, but if you have a lot in the bottom of the pan strain it out.

In a separate pot, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Season the beef with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in the reserved pasta water.

While the pasta is still hot, add to the chili pot along with the sour cream and shredded cheddar. Stir vigorously until everything is melted smooth and well combined. Serve with extra sour cream, cheese and the scallion greens on top. Enjoy!

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Chicken and Dumplings

Comfort food alert!

We had a little warm up around these parts, but let's be honest. It's still winter. It's still cold. We need some comfort food to stick to our bones. And this recipe is a kitchen classic you'll be enjoying for years to come.

I was thinking one night about how I could do some kind of fun twist on Chicken and Dumplings when I realized I just wanted pure, classic chicken and dumplings. And that's EXACTLY what this recipe is. You can make this dish in no time at all, with ingredients you likely already have hanging in your pantry and fridge.

The thing about chicken and dumplings is it's essentially like eating a big bowl of delicious chicken soup and dunking a yummy piece of bread in it...but the BREAD has already been dunked for your eating pleasure! It's genius really. The bread "bakes" in the hot soup, soaking in the delicious flavors. How great does that sound?! Mmm, I'm craving another bowl right now!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sesame Green Beans

Look at these beauties!

These Sesame Green Beans are an exercise in simplicity. They are crisp. A little spicy. Pumped up with sesame. And freshened up with a sprinkling of scallions. I love them deeply and I'm sure you will too. 

I was inspired to create this recipe after having a very similar Asian green bean salad from an adorable little market in Maine a couple of summers ago. It was simple and refreshing, perfect as a starter or a side. That's exactly what I wanted with this recipe, with the added bonus of being able to prep this well ahead of time! 

Obviously, the stars of this show are fresh green beans and a bit of sesame oil. I start by quickly steaming the green beans, for just about 5 to 7 minutes, then blanching them in ice water. This will keep them a bright and vibrant green as well as perfectly crispy and toothy. Once the beans are chilled, all that's left to do is whisk up the dressing. Sesame oil, lime juice, a splash of soy sauce, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Simple but composed. The perfect mix of toasty, tart and salty. 

Toss the beans in the dressing. Pop 'em in the fridge to marinate for a few minutes up to a couple of hours. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds and chopped scallions before serving. Give yourself a pat on the back because you just made a dish that will make even your pickiest eaters eat their vegetables :-)