Childhood Comfort Food: Chili Mac

Chili Mac

Chili Mac was one of my dinners almost every week growing up, I am the oldest of 6 kids and there were always a few extras at the table so this dish was filling, and went a long way. No matter how many people were at the table there was always enough for seconds. I crave it still to this day but I had to make a couple of adjustments. The original chili mac did not have any beans or cheese, but my kids said then it isn’t “chili” mac, (they love chili and beans) so I added a few ingredients but it still goes a long way and there are always left overs and best of all it reminds me of my childhood.

Chili Mac

1 lb ground beef

1/2 t chopped garlic

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 can tomato soup (condensed)

1/2 can of water

1 can red kidney beans (drained)

2 T brown sugar

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T chili powder

1 t cumin

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

1 box elbow macaroni cooked and drained

Brown meat and onions in a large skillet or pot for about 5 minutes, add garlic and saute until golden. Add tomato soup, water, beans, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Chili Mac

Add the macaroni noodles and stir, cook over low for about 5 minutes or until macaroni absorbs some of the sauce. Top with cheese and chopped onion if desired.

Chili Mac

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin Chili

 

Get out the spice rack, this thick and satisfying chili has a great depth of flavor, warm, hearty, earthy and spicy. Perfect for Halloween night or any fall dinner, serve  it with naan or couscous.

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin Chili

1 1/2 lbs ground beef or lamb

3 tbsp hot curry powder

1/4 t ground cloves

1/4 t cardamom

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1/4 t cumin

1/4 t nutmeg

1 T cinnamon

1 T honey

1 T tomato paste

4 garlic cloves chopped

1 c yellow onion chopped

1 150z can of pumpkin

1/2 c chopped dried apricots

14 oz can peeled tomatoes and juice

2 cups small gold potatoes quartered (or bite size)

3-4 c beef broth

salt to taste

In a large heavy pot brown ground beef over med high heat until cooked through, add, all the spices, tomato paste and honey, stir and cook 1 min, add garlic and onions, cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring constantly.

 

Add pumpkin, apricots, tomatoes and potatoes, stir, add broth and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

 

 

 

Spicy Green Curry with Turkey and Eggplant

 

Try this new twist with ground meat, Turkey , Beef, Chicken or Pork would work. A great alternative to the ho-hum Hamburger Helper, this dish tastes fresh, light and a little spicy. Adjust the heat to your liking by the amount of jalapeno you use.If your not an eggplant fan try zucchini or butternut squash instead.

Spicy Green Curry with Turkey and Eggplant

2 T Olive Oil

1.5 lbs ground meat (Turkey, Chicken,Beef or Pork)

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/2 pound fresh green beans washed and trimmed

3 cups cubed eggplant, ( skin off or on)

1 jalapeno minced (adjust to your spice preference)

2 T minced ginger

1T minced garlic

1-2 T green curry paste (found in Asian section of supermarket)

1 can coconut milk

1t lime zest

1T lime juice

1 T chopped mint

1 T chopped cilantro

Brown ground meat in a large pan over high heat, add 1 T of olive oil if using turkey or chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while browning. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium and add 1 T oil to the pan, add eggplant, green beans, jalapeno, ginger and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes. Move vegetables to the sides of the pan and add green curry paste to the middle. cook for about 2 more minutes. Add can of coconut milk, and lime juice and zest and stir.

 

Add ground meat back in and stir. Simmer with cover on for about 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and eggplant and beans are tender. Add fresh herbs (Mint and Cilantro) and stir. Serve with lime wedges and more fresh herbs if desired.

*If using zucchini, cook time will be shorter, if using butternut squash cook time will be longer.

 

Hoppy IPA Day! Celebrate with Beer and Bacon Meatloaf and Onion Ale Mustard Gravy

It’s my new favorite holiday, IPA day, a day to celebrate my favorite style of beer, India Pale Ale. It’s not for everyone, it is somewhat bitter from the hops and can be strong, but it is also crisp, refreshing, and full of flavor. Think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on steroids, and then you get where I am coming from. IPA’s are a favorite style of beer enthusiasts, and can be found at most independent breweries and craft beer bars. One of my local favorites is Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA. I used this beer in my celebratory dinner of meatloaf and gravy, but feel free to use your own local IPA, or better yet taste taste several until you find your favorite.

Beer Bacon Meatloaf

2 lbs ground meat (my favorite 1/3 pork, 2/3 beef)

1/2 c plus 2T IPA style beer (choose your poison, mine was Cigar City Jai Alai)

1 t minced garlic

1T Worcestershire sauce

4T ketchup

2 t Dijon mustard

1 egg

1t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 1/4 c panko bread crumbs

1 t honey

4 slices of bacon cut in half

Preheat over to 350, In a large bowl combine, ground meat, 1/2 beer, garlic, Worcestershire, 2T ketchup, egg, salt, pepper and panko. Form into a loaf and place in a baking dish. In a small bowl add 2T ketchup, 2T beer, and 1T honey mix and spoon over meatloaf.

Place raw bacon over top of meatloaf

Bake in oven for 45 minutes

Onion Ale Mustard Gravy

4 T butter

2 sweet yellow onions sliced

1T worcestershire sauce

2 t mustard

1/4 c flour

1/4 c IPA beer

1 1/4 c water

3 T brown sugar

add 3 T butter to a large skillet, add onions and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, then add mustard, Worcestershire, and flour, cook for 3 minutes on med/low. Add beer cook for 1 minute, then add water and cook over medium until gravy has thickened about 5 minutes, add 3T brown sugar and 1 T butter, whisk until incorporated and butter has melted, season with salt and pepper, serve over meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

 

Also try

Beer Cheese Dip

Smokey Chili with Kale and White Beans

I struggled with what to call this dish, it was a take everything out of the fridge and hope for the best kind of meal. This one really worked though, everyone had seconds. I am still not sure if it is a chili, a soup or a stew. I refuse to call it a stoup, just because Rachael Ray annoys me. Mostly because she makes up new words and repeats them 100 times an episode. I will never use the phrase EVOO either.

1 lb ground beef

1 can white beans

1 small onion chopped fine

1-2 cloves of garlic minced

1 T chipotle chili powder

1 can diced tomatoes

3 c kale, chopped with stems removed

1/4 c white wine

1/2 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

Brown the ground beef over med high heat, add onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add chili powder, salt, pepper, beans and tomatoes, stir and turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add kale and white wine,cook for 5-10 more minutes or until kale is tender.

Cottage Pie with Cheddar and Brown Ale

It is American Craft Beer Week and I hope everyone is celebrating with your locally brewed beverages. I love to cook with beer, there are so many different flavors and it can easily be substituted in any recipe that calls for wine or other alcohol. It make a great marinade for beef and adds a heartiness  to vegetarian dishes. I used a brown ale in this recipe which pairs well with beef, my local favorites are Cigar City’s Maduro Brown and Dunedin Brewery’s Beach Tale Brown. You could certainly use any brown ale English or American style though. Some other examples are Brooklyn Brown, Dogfish Indian Brown, or even a Newcastle ( but it is American Craft Beer Week) If you are using a stronger beer with a higher alcohol content you may want to use less beer and more broth in the recipe. You want it to enhance the flavor of the dish not over power it.

10 red potatoes

2lbs ground beef

3 carrotes chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1 small onion chopped

1/2 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

1t dried thyme

1/4 c peas

1 c beef broth

3/4 c brown ale

1/4 c flour

4 T butter

1 egg

1 T fresh chives chopped

3/4 c milk

3/4 c cheese

Peel and boil potatoes until tender. In a large pan saute carrots, garlic and onion with a tablespoon of butter for about 3-4 minutes over med high heat, add the ground beef and brown until no longer pink. Add salt, thyme and pepper. Turn the heat to low and sprinkle with flour, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until flour is absorbed into meat mixture. Add Beer and broth bring to boil and then reduce heat to low and add peas. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until it starts to thicken.

Remove from heat. In a bowl combine cooked potatoes, 3T butter, and milk, mash or use and electric beater to make mashed potatoes. add one beaten egg, 1/2 c of cheese and chives.

In a large 9×13 pan, pour the meat mixture evenly on the bottom.

Spread the potato mixture on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. remove from oven, let sit 10 minutes, and serve.

Summertime and the Chili is Easy

Summer is almost here, its hot and humid in Florida. I love the ease and the flavor of chili but it can be a little much for those hot Summer months. I decided to lighten it up a bit by adding some fresher and brighter ingredients, but kept the spice and the ease of a one pot meal.

Summertime Chili

3T canola oil

1 yellow onion chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 fresh jalapeno diced

2 lbs ground meat (turkey, beef or pork will work)

1/2 t salt

1/2 t cumin

1/2 t mexican oregano

3 T chili powder

1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with juice

1 can dark red kidney beans

2 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed ( approx 1 1/4 cup) you could use frozen or canned corn, but corn is in season in the summer and adds a freshness and slight crunch to the dish.

1 t lime zest

lime wedges

chopped cilantro

Heat oil over Med high heat, add onion, garlic and jalapeno, and sauté for 3 min. Add ground meat and cook until browned (drain fat if necessary), add salt, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Then add tomatoes with juice, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.

Cook for one hour, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes with the spoon. Add beans and corn kernels and zest, cook for 15 min more.

Serve in bowls and top with fresh cilantro and squeeze lime wedges over the top.

 

 

Chipotle and Lime Glazed Meatloaf

Well I have learned something, not all food looks as good as it tastes. Meatloaf is one of them. Dinner time at my house is as hectic as everyone else’s. I have a husband a two teen boys, they are always starving and waiting like vultures for dinner.  I try to take pictures before, during, and after I am cooking, I wasn’t happy with this finished one of the meatloaf so I thought I will get another picture of it sliced on a plate after dinner, well I guess this meatloaf was good because there was none left when I went to get the second picture. Hope your family enjoys this as much as my boys did.

Chipotle and Lime Glazed Meatloaf

1 small yellow onion chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 – 2 lbs meatloaf mix (ground beef and pork mix sold at most grocery stores, or 1 lb ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork)

2 chipotle chilis (canned in Adobe sauce) chopped

1 egg

1T ketchup

1/2 -3/4 c breadcrumbs

1T salt

ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, form a loaf and place in a casserole dish ( I prefer this to a loaf pan so that you can glaze the sides and the top)

Chipotle Lime Glaze:

3 T ketchup

2T adobe sauce (from the can of chipotles)

1T lime juice

Mix together, spread evenly over sides and top of meat loaf

Bake for approximately 45 minutes, slice and serve

Shared on Justa’s Kitchen’s Fantastic Food Fridays 5/2/2012