Today has been a bit of a challenge for me and I almost didn’t make Sunday Dinner. I chose Carbonara because I had all of the ingredients except the Spaghetti. Having spent most of the weekend inside, I decided to walk to the store to get the pasta and some much needed fresh air. Once I am at the store I realize I don’t have my wallet so I start my ten minute walk back home just as it begins to rain. At this point I was ready to skip Sunday Dinner and reclaim my place on the couch. But I persevered and found a box of fettuccine in the cupboard I decided would do just fine. After all, Carbonara is pasta covered in cheese and bacon. Do we really care what shape the pasta is? So after a long week and a rough start to my day, I ended up with a delicious bowl of Fettuccine Carbonara that was good enough to improve even the worst of moods.
As I explained above, Carbonara is traditionally served with spaghetti. Fettuccine is a little bit sturdier than spaghetti so I added a little cream to the eggs before tossing with the pasta. If you use spaghetti, I recommend leaving the cream out as it is too heavy for the thin pasta.
1lb dry fettuccine
8 slices bacon, diced
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
lots of fresh ground pepper
handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Mix egg yolks, cream, parmesan and lots of black pepper then set aside. You want to do this before you do anything else so you can mix the eggs with the pasta while it is still hot.
Boil your pasta according to instructions being sure to set aside one cup of pasta water before draining.
While your pasta is boiling, fry your bacon and drain on a paper towel.
Put your cooked pasta into a large glass bowl and immediately start tossing with your egg mixture. Mix well to combine then add the bacon.
Use the pasta water to thin out the sauce so you don’t end up with a big clump of pasta on your plate.
I made this chili yesterday with the Super Bowl in mind. Even though the 49ers aren’t playing I figured I should still get into the spirit of the game.
I think chili is a popular Super Bowl meal because it’s meaty, serves a big crowd and goes great with beer. But in my opinion chili can be a little boring. So in the theme of Sunday Dinner, I took a classic dish and spruced it up a bit using coffee and cocoa giving this chili some of the flavors of a Mexican mole. Served along side Green Chili & Cheddar Corn Bread Pudding this Short Rib chili makes a perfect Super Bowl Sunday Dinner.
3 chipotle chilies chopped with all of the adobo sauce from the can
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp bittersweet cocoa powder
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp instant espresso
1 heaping teaspoon smooth, natural peanut butter
Salt and pepper
Pat short ribs dry and sprinkle with salt. Heat oil in large heavy bottomed pot until smoking and brown on all sides. Do this in two batches so you don’t over crowd the pan. This takes about 15 minutes
Remove ribs and set aside. Saute onions, carrots and garlic in beef drippings until slightly brown. About 2 minutes.
Add chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir in coffee and cocoa before adding tomato paste and chilies with adobo.
Whisk in broth scraping up any brown bits from the pan.
Return ribs to the pot and bring to a boil before reducing to low. Simmer with the top on for about 2 1/2 hours. Keep a bowl and large spoon next to the pot so you can skim the fat that rises to the top. Do this at least twice throughout the cooking process.
When the ribs are starting to come off the bone easily remove them from the pot and put them on a cutting board.
While the ribs are resting, use a fine sieve to strain all of the solids from the braising liquid.
Wipe out your pot before adding your strained liquid.
Remove all the bones and the membranes from the meat. Chop the meat up in small pieces before putting back in the liquid.
Turn the heat up and bring the beef to a boil then reduce to low and simmer with the top off for about 20 minutes. I like to shred the meat even more while it simmers.
After about 20 minutes and the liquid has reduced a little, whisk in the peanut butter. Let the chili simmer for another 10 minutes before serving. Salt and pepper to taste
Serve with lots of toppings. Chopped onions and cilantro, Cotija cheese, Serrano peppers, pickled red onion, sour cream and hot sauce are my favorites.
Green Chili & Cheddar Corn Bread Pudding
8.5 oz box Jiffy corn muffin mix
14.5 oz can cream corn
1/2 cup sour cream
1 stick melted butter, cooled
1 can Ortega fire roasted chilies
1 up shredded cheddar
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour into a greased 3 quart baking dish
Bake for 50 minutes until golden brown and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center.
This is my second taco recipe for this blog and it definitely won’t be the last. I make tacos a couple times a month and eat them out twice as often. When I go out for tacos or I’m in the mood for a classic street taco, I usually get carnitas. I love the juicy, almost greasy meat with all of the dark and crispy bits. It’s a flavor and texture combination that can only come from braised pork. Although pork is my number one choice to fill a taco, this chicken recipe is reminiscent of carnitas and in my opinion is just as good. The chicken is cooked pretty much the same way by braising the meat first then reducing the liquid down and frying the meat in it’s own fat. It’s also easy, inexpensive to make and is perfect for feeding a crowd.
This Sunday we’re having taco party #2 with Spicy Braised Chicken Tacos.
8 chicken thighs with skin
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can El Pato tomato sauce with jalapeno
1 red onion, diced and divided in half
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
white corn tortillas
Heat oil in heavy bottomed pot and fry the chicken, skin side down, until golden. About ten minutes. Do this in batches if necessary so the chicken browns nicely.
Set the brown chicken aside and saute half of the onion in the chicken fat with the garlic.
Once the onion has softened add the El Pato and scrape up any brown bits from the pan.
Put the chicken back in the pan and add the stock. Stir the liquid to cover the chicken evenly. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer with the top on for 30 minutes until very tender.
Take the chicken out of the pan and discard the skin before removing all the meat from the bone.
Shred the chicken and add it back to the braising liquid.
Turn the heat to high and simmer until all the liquid is evaporated and the meat begins to crisp. Stir the meat a few times making sure to shred it a little more. This takes about 20 minutes. If you’re serving a large party and plan to serve the tacos right away, you can fry the meat until slightly crispy but still juicy. You can also stop the cooking once the liquid has evaporated and store the chicken in the fridge until you’re ready to make tacos again. Just crisp the meat up in a hot pan before serving.
When I make this dish I don’t add any salt. The El Pato is salty enough for my taste but you can add salt and pepper if you feel it needs more seasoning.
Toss the remaining half of the onion with chopped cilantro and sprinkle on your taco along with avocado, hot sauce and fresh lime.
For my first Winter Sunday Dinner I am making Chicken Tortilla Soup. Still recovering from the holidays, I wanted to make something light and budget friendly. This recipe only costs around $20 and makes 12 servings. It is also the perfect cure if you’re like me and nursing a cold.
This Sunday I’m starting the new year off right with my super easy and delicious, Chicken Tortilla Soup
Rinse your chicken and put in a large stock pot with quartered onion, peppercorns, smashed garlic and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for one hour until chicken is tender and starting to fall apart.
Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool enough so you can remove the meat.
While the chicken is cooling, skim the fat from your chicken broth and strain the solids through a sieve. Set broth aside.
Remove all the meat from the chicken and set aside.
Rinse and wipe out your soup pot.
Saute the onions, carrot and minced garlic in 2Tbsp oil until soft.
Add tomato paste and stir into the vegetables.
Whisk in all the broth and bring to a simmer
Add chicken, then salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer soup for 5 minutes before serving.
I like to use sour cream, serrano chilis, avocado, cilantro, green onion, lots of hot sauce and of course tortillas. You can use your favorite tortilla chips and sprinkle them on top but I prefer to slice white corn tortillas into strips and fry them in oil until slightly golden.