Showing posts with label Beef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beef. Show all posts

December 04, 2011

Slow Cooker Sunday Chili

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Sunday night football parties and weekday office holiday parties… it’s the month of parties and you are always bringing something, somewhere to add to the holiday cheer.

Last night we went over our neighbors house for the Sunday night games, dinner and a few beers… it was a nice relaxing day. JETS on at 4pm and they had a TD in the last few minutes to win the game against the Redskins and my 49ers closed out the Rams 26-0. As you probably know by now we are big on football and get-togethers’ with friends so it was a great Sunday to say the least, especially since now were in the holiday season!!!

Our neighbor has started to become known for his barbecue ribs so we were so happy when he invited us over for ribs and the games. I asked what he wanted us to bring over and he immediately told me he would love if I could make some chili. Umm, ok.

Normally for a Sunday football gathering I would bring my famous crispy chicken wings, chili bean dip or a simple spinach and artichoke dip but he wanted chili.

Now, I am always up for a challenge but I also know there are a ton of chili recipes out there and I really didn’t want to screw it up my first time for 8 guests, some of whom I had never met. Either way, it was my task and I was on it!

Sunday morning early rise to the grocery store, home to chop, dice and pour, threw everything in the slow cooker and the rest of the day was mine. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The chili had just the right kick to it and was loaded with meat and beans to fill a crowd, especially on a cold day. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and it was a wonderful side dish to the fall-off-the-bone ribs we were chowing down on. Sunday football with ribs and chili… we were all right at home. This was so east to put together and the rest of the day I got to enjoy with friends which to me was my favorite part, as always.

Winter is upon us and each day starts to get darker and colder so this chili is just the fix’in you are going to need to warm and fill you up.
Slow Cooker Sunday Chili
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 
Recipe adopted by Allrecipes


1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (10.75 ounce) cans tomato puree
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans with liquid
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Place the beef in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain grease.
Place the beef in a slow cooker, and mix in onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato puree, kidney beans, and cannellini beans. Season with chili powder, parsley, salt, basil, oregano, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low.


October 09, 2011

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches {Crockpot Edition}

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Philly cheese steak sandwiches with beans... oh heaven I love Sundays in the fall. 

Last weekend Paul and I got together with a couple were good friends with for the games and a little dinner. They were putting together the beers, appetizers and I was bringing the beef.
Paul and I looked throughout a couple of recipes and tried to decided what our hearts were set on and we landed on crockpot steak and cheese sandwiches. {You know they just sound amazing}
I headed up to the meat counter at my grocery store and started to talk with the guy about my glorious Sunday dinner and needed help on the best meat for my sandwiches. I soon learned that a rib-eye steak is the best meat for Philly sandwiches, they hold together, retain the juice and have a great meaty consistency that adds good texture to the sandwich. I also had the butcher slice everything up for me because not only would he do a much better job that I would but it would be one less thing I had to do once I got home.

I'm sold!

I packed up my meat, grabbed a couple other things and headed home to throw everything into my crockpot and let it simmer all afternoon until we headed over to their house. 
The onions and peppers, plus the added beer added such flavor to the meat and really chunked up our sandwiches. Everything marinaded perfectly and again, with the crockpot there was little for me to do other than pack in the ingredients and wait out the afternoon as my house started to smell of sweet onions and juicy beef.
Add in some homemade beans and you have just put together a fabulous Sunday. 

Steak and cheese sandwiches are the best meal for Sunday when you are kicking back with a few friends and a couple beers over the football game. It's a heart-warming comfort food with great flavor and a filling meal. 

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches {Crockpot Edition}
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño
Recipe modified from Healthy Cooking

2 large onions, sliced into strips

2 medium green peppers, sliced into thin strips 
1 envelope onion soup mix (Lipton)
2 lbs thinly-sliced rib-eye steak 
2 tbsp garlic, finely-minced
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried leaf oregano, crumbled
1/2 tsp dried leaf thyme, crumbled

2 (10 1/2 ounces each) cans beef broth 
1 bottle of beer (I used Long Trail Pale Ale)
6 slices of Monterey Jack cheese (2 cups shredded)
6 hard kaiser rolls, warmed

Place the sliced onions and green peppers in the bottom of the crockpot. Lay the round steak slices on top of the vegetables.
Whisk together the combine onion soup mix, garlic, worcestershire, oregano, thyme, beef broth and beer. Pour over steak slices. Cover. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours or high 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to broil. Slice the rolls, lengthwise, but not all the way through. Place steak, green peppers and onions on half of each roll. Top with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Broil two minutes or just until the cheese is melted and the roll is lightly toasted. 
Serve in toasted roalls or if desired, skim fat from juices and serve in individual bowls for dipping.


September 19, 2011

Spicy Italian Meatballs in Sauce

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Who doesn't love a good old fashion meatball. After spending so much time with Paul's family and throwing around homemade recipe after recipe, I had to give my own meatballs a try. 

My goal was to take their traditional and throw in a little spice and flair to really make them my own.
The 'sauce' that I made is a combination of my favorite jar'ed tomatoes, some peppers for spice and a few others things that I assume would taste excellent in sauce. As these cooked and bubbled up the house smelled like an Italian Restaurant and I loved every second of it. Additionally the portions that I made were enough to freeze a whole second batch for another night, which I loved being that I am always short pressed for time.
So the real test was Paul, Mr. Italian himself, to tell me what he thought of my meatballs.

The big reveal... They were good. Ok, so this doesn't sound too enthusiastic but I was excited at the response. If I could make good meatballs my first time around, that only meant that there was hope for me yet to perfect these bad boys. He's explained to me that his Nini and aunts have been making meatballs for years and year and perfecting them in every batch so my "good" meatballs were a perfect start in my life-long goal of perfecting meatballs. 

Not only were my meatballs good but I had a lot of fun making them. It's almost as exciting as making cookies because your childhood antics come out as you 'play' with your food. Loved It!

Put these meatballs and sauce over pasta, in a grinder with cheese or even just on a plate alone, either way they are moist, meaty and delicious and they will make you smile.
Spicy Italian Meatballs in Sauce
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeño


2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
tsp garlic powder
tsp kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
tsp ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten

2 scallions, finely chopped

2 poblano peppers, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can diced (preferably San Marzano) tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for meatballs. Mix well and form into small balls, approx. 30 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.
*Helpful Hint: If you use a small meatball/cookie scoop it makes for perfect size balls and helps speed up the process.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté poblanos and garlic in olive oil until slightly wilted. Stir in tomatoes and salt. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and meatballs and simmer 30 minutes more. 
Mmmm, they look good.
Note: Whatever you plan on not using, package up in a ziplock back and put right into the freezer.
Serve on a grinder with cheese, over a bed of spaghetti or just pile them up on a plate and eat up. Any way you have these meatballs they are going to be fantastic.

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June 16, 2011

Beefy Summer BBQ Steak Kabobs

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So, we have just finished a heat wave in our part of the state where the temperature wasn't much below 90 degrees with some serious humidity for at least a week until we finally got a break with a few thunderstorms and some rain. Now some may say that the best time to cook and grill is in that type of heat but for me it's painful to be in front of a grill cooking for a long period of time in 95 degree weather.

We had one of Paul’s army buddies staying with us for a couple of days so when I found out, I decided to welcome him with my own version of a man’s summer haven BBQ dinner. It was short notice that I found out he was going to be staying but I wanted to whip up what I could to make sure he felt welcomed and comfortable in our house. The best part about this dinner is that it took little preparation till everything was cooked and served, so grilling in the blistering heat hovering over a hot grill wouldn't be so bad if you had to. 

I know, I know, this isn’t a complex dish and takes all of 10 minutes to prepare but occasionally we need to be reminded that non sophisticated cooking can still wow your taste buds and put you right at home. As our guest was getting settled in, we grabbed a few beers and I started chopping, cutting and skewing together dinner while we all chatted? Not too much concentration or thought has to go into dinner and this recipe is proof that simplicity and a good conversation can make the best meal.

When you’re cruising through the grocery store, grab the most colorful veggies or meats to fit whatever season you’re cooking in and wham, you have yourself a meal. Boneless top sirloin makes the meat for kabobs like this because they are very tender and delicious... the best steak kabobs.

We were all full and happy! :)

Beefy summer BBQ Steak Kabobs
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno

2 pounds boneless top sirloin
2 peppers (I used a red and green pepper, but use whatever you like)
1 lg. sweet yellow onion
Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, to your liking.
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Around 10 bamboo skewers (pre-soak in water)
Olive oil

Cut the steak into bite size pieces and in a mixing bowl whisk together garlic powder, olive oil, salt and pepper. If you soak the bamboo skewers in a large bowl of water, this makes it easy for the meat and vegetables to come off after cooking. Then cut the peppers and onion into bite size pieces.

On the skewers, place a piece of meat, a pepper and an onion. Be creative and put them in whatever order you want but space each flavor out and make it colorful. Skewer all of your desired meat and veggies. Dribble the kabobs with olive oil and grill until they are cooked, turning occasionally.

*You can also marinade the steaks/chicken in the BBQ sauce for 30 min to 2 hrs before grilling but for tonight's meal I decided to have it as a dribbled over dipping sauce.

So simple, everyone’s happy and the taste is phenomenal.

Stay cool and….Enjoy!

May 17, 2011

Caramelized Onion and Cream Cheese Bison Burger with Jalapeño Bottle Caps

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It's grilling season and even in all the forecasted rain for this week, I still plan on having a beefed up burger with some of my favorite fixings.

There are so many different ways to have a burger that you could literally put anything in between two buns and you'd have yourself a burger, and if you lived in our house you would probably even loose the buns. Being that we are such burger lovers we enjoy eating what we like but it's not always the healthiest choice so as we have progressed in the kitchen we have altered our ways of cooking certain dishes to be healthier without losing the flavors.

Paul and I mix and match through-out the weeks with veggie, chicken and turkey burgers and then when the week comes for real meaty beefy burgers we make sure to go with bison. Bison meat (also known as buffalo) is a much leaner and healthier beef meats with a sweeter and richer flavor over regular beef (around 50+ calories more). Paul and I also omit the bun to cut out the heavy carbs that are sometime not needed when it’s just the two of us eating at home... but believe me when that backyard bar-b-q comes around it's a full burger for us top to bottom.

This burger is packet with such savory flavors and then topped with caramelized onions, a nice slice of cream cheese and then those crispy flavored jalapeño bottle caps... I mean stop it they this is so good. Each bit should have the juicy burger, the cool creaminess of the cheese, the warm soft onions and the fiery crunch of the bottle caps. This burger makes my mouth water and Paul always goes reaching for a next bite before he's even finished swallowing what’s in his mouth. It's that good.

Whether you test out our leaner beef/no bun version or use this recipe with all the over the top fixings, you are absolutely going to love it.

Bring summer to your table.

Caramelized Onion and Cream Cheese Bison Burger with Jalapeno Bottle Caps
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno

2 lb bison beef, 80-90% lean
1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
3 dashes worcestershire sauce
olive oil
2 sm yellow onions
dash salt
2 tsp pepper

cream cheese, sliced medium thick 
jalapeño bottle caps (see recipe below)
hamburger buns, optional ;)

Mix the bison burger meat with the garlic and onion powder and the worcestershire sauce. Do not overwork the meat, it will result in a tough burger. Just gently fold it until well mixed in. Form patties with the meat, using about 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of meat per patty. Here's a tip on making the patty: if you press a slight indentation in the center of each patty it will help keep the burgers in a nice disk shape when cooking and it keeps the burgers juices in.

Grill or fry the burgers on medium heat, about 6-7 minutes per side, less or more depending on the thickness of the burger. Don’t press on your burgers while cooking, and keep the flipping to a minimum. Let the burgers rest about 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, heat a 10-inch saute pan over high heat. When hot add the olive oil, onions, and season with some salt and black pepper. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue to cook for 10 minutes until caramelized, stirring often.

Serve the burger with a thick slice of cream cheese then top with the caramelized onions and the jalapeño bottle caps.

Jalapeño Bottle Caps

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup beer
2 cups jalapeño peppers, sliced
olive oil (for frying)

Mix the Dries, add the eggs, mix well then add the beer. Stir it up. 

Put oil in a hot pan, dip the jalapeño slices into the batter and fry until golden. Drain on paper towls and then top on the burgers.


April 04, 2011

Grilled Top Sirloin Steak with Garlic-Whiskey Butter

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I love grilled steaks, even pan fried steaks where you can scrape the pan and add a few spices and some oil or alcohol and you have some nice juices to pour over your steak. I also never really turn down whisky, especially when its in butter over my steak. With the whisky, shallots, garlic and herbs, this butter really holds its own in creating all the flavoring needed for the steaks and it is mouthwatering. Plus an extra bonus... you can make this hours or days before you are making your dish so preparation is almost obsolete.  

This Garlic-Whiskey butter makes all the flavor in the world for these steaks. We cook our steaks on the medium-rare side so cutting into this steak was so juicy and the butter just seeped right in, wonderful!
Grilled Top Sirloin Steak with Garlic-Whiskey Butter 
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno

Garlic-Whiskey Butter:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 shallot minced, soaked in 1/2 shot of Jack Daniels (or other whiskey)
3 tsp minced parsley
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tsp Jack Daniels (or other whiskey)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
White pepper to taste

2 top sirloin steaks, or other favorite steak, about 1-inch thick
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Olive oil
Chopped parsley, optional

Make Garlic-Whiskey Butter:
Make Butter at least 3 hours in advance. Combine butter, shallots soaked in Jack Daniels, parsley, Worcestershire, mustard, whiskey, salt, and pepper. Mix well. 

On a piece of plastic wrap, drop butter in spoonfuls to form a log. Roll butter in plastic wrap and smooth out to form a round log. Refrigerate until hard and easy to slice into round, coin-shaped pieces.

(rolled in wax paper and cold for easy cutting)
Prepare Steaks:
Allow meat to come to room temperature about 15 minutes before grilling.
Just before grilling, brush both sides of the steaks with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place steaks directly over medium-high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, just long enough to get good grill marks. Turn steaks and sear the other side. Move steaks to indirect heat and continue cooking for about 7 more minutes for medium rare. 
Remove steaks from the grill, top with a pat of the whiskey butter and allow to rest at least 5 minutes but no longer than 10 before serving.

Spread the melted butter all over the tops of the steaks and top each with a fresh slice of the whiskey butter and parsley, if desired.