Butternut Squash Chicken Stew

Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 3½ cups chicken broth
  • 1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
 Instructions
  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool enough to shred.
  6. Return the saucepan and chicken broth to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add salt, pepper; oregano, tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, and mashed butternut squash.   Stir to combine.
  7. Shred the chicken and stir into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5-10 minutes.

Enchiladas with Mole Sauce

Homemade enchiladas are a new favorite on the menu around here.  We have made them with pork shoulder, ground beef, ground bison, and shredded chicken.  You need to make the Mole sauce first, but you should have enough for 2 different meals.  Keep the leftover sauce in the fridge until you are ready to make another batch.

Pork Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 lb. pork shoulder
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 batch mole sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1 batch enchilada sauce (recipe follows)
  • 10-12 Tortillas, I prefer flour, but corn may be used
  • shredded Mexican style cheese
Directions
Place pork shoulder in crockpot, cover with mole sauce and chicken stock.  Let cook as long as you can.  When ready, shred pork, mixing in the sauce and juices.  Remove any large chunks of fat and or bone.  
Spray baking dish with non stick spray.  Fill tortillas with meat and place in pan, seam side down.  Cover with enchilada sauce and cheese.  Bake at 350° until cheese is browned.
Ground Beef or Bison Enchiladas

Brown ground meat in skillet, adding mole sauce once meat is cooked.  Continue with above recipe.


Mole Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, cut in half- for more heat leave the seed in, for less heat, remove them
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 ripe plantain, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Water if necessary
Directions
On a roasting pan, drizzle peppers and tomatoes with oil and roast in a 375° oven until slightly charred, turning once.  Remove from oven and let cool.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, process all ingredients until smooth.  Add water to adjust consistency.

Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (more as desired)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock

    Directions
    Heat oil in a saucepan until hot, add in flour, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add chili powder, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, and salt, stirring to heat thoroughly.  Slowly add in stock, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, adding additional stock if needed.


    Pot Roast

    Pot Roast is one of those meals and fills you up and warms you from the inside out.  This is a staple in our house using venison, but the freezer is empty so I had to visit the butcher counter for some grass bed beef.

    Traditional Yankee Pot Roast
    adapted from Cooking Light Complete Cookbook

    Ingredients

    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 1 (2 pound) boneless beef roast or venison roast
    • 1 tbsp kosher salt
    • 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tbsp rosemary
    • 1 dried bay leaf
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 inch rounds
    • 1 pound small potatoes, halved

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 300.
    2. Using a spice grinder, grind rosemary, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Rub mixture all over roast.
    3. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add roast to pan, browning on all sides. Combine broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire; pour over roast. Add tomato, bring to a simmer.
    4. Add carrots and potatoes, cover and bake at 300 for 1 hour or until tender.

    Falafel

    Falafel is one of those things that you stumble upon.  I had a lunch with a girlfriend at a mediterranean restaraunt and she suggested that I try it.  Of course, I loved it.  The first time that I saw it on a menu when I was out with Forrest, I suggested he try it.  And, so, a love affair began.

    Falafel
    Adapted from Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup uncooked bulgur
    • 4- 15.5 oz cans chickpeas
    • 1/2 cup chopped each- fresh basil and parsley
    • 1/4 cup chopped each- fresh sage & thyme
    • 1/3 to 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • fresh ground pepper
    • Cooking spray

    Instructions

    To prepare falafel, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; add bulgur to pan. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

    Preheat oven to 425°.

    Combine chickpeas and the remaining ingredients, except cooking spray, in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until well blended and smooth (mixture will be wet). Spoon chickpea mixture into a large bowl; stir in bulgur.

    Divide mixture into 12 equal portions (about 1/4 cup each); shape each portion into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Place patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

    Tuscan White Bean Stew

    This stew is warm, comforting, and super simple.  You can use dried cannellini beans in place of the canned, as long as you cook them ahead of time.

    Tuscan White Bean Stew
    adapted from Food to Live By

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 cup carrots, diced
    • 3 slices bacon, diced
    • 5 cups chicken stock
    • 3 cans cannellini beans
    • 1 can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
    • freshly ground pepper

    Instructions

    1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat.  
    2. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 mins.  Remove the bacon bits, but keep leave the grease in the pot.  Add carrots and cook about 5 mins.  
    3. Add the stock, 2 cans beans, tomatoes, rosemary, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.  
    4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until heated through.  
    5. Meanwhile, puree remaining can of beans and stir into soup.  
    6. Add the balsamic vinegar and top with bacon bits..  Serve hot.

    Pumpkin, Black Bean, And Corn Chili

    With Forrest out of town for a few days, I decided to make myself some chili.  I wanted to use ingredients that I had on hand, so I came up with the idea to make black bean chili.  I consulted Dara over at Cook in Canuck, because I’ve liked some of her soups before.  As luck would have it, she has a great recipe for Smoky Black Bean and Corn Chili.  I used her recipe as a template and modified it to both fit my tastes and what I had in my pantry.  While this isn’t a traditional “chili,” it hit the spot to satisfy my craving!

    Pumpkin, Black Bean, & Corn Chili
    Adapted from Cook in Canuck

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 pounds dried black beans, cooked with water in pressure cooker
    • 2 10 oz bags frozen corn
    • 1/2 of a 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
    • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
    • 2 tsp dried oregano
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp chipolte powder
    • 1 tsp allspice
    • 1 tsp salt
    • sour cream
    • spicy cheese blend
    Directions
    Combine all ingredients except sour cream and cheese in a large dutch oven.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until heated through.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese.

    Pumpkin Gnocchi

    I never thought I could love gnocchi more than I already did.  Then Forrest made me Pumpkin Gnocchi and I was in love.  Then I made Pumpkin Gnocchi and saw how much easier it is than potato gnocchi and I was in love.

    Pumpkin Gnocchi
    Adapted from The Foodess

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
    • 1 egg
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 cup flour (approximately), plus more for hands and work surface
    • 3 tbsp butter

    Directions

    Set a large pot of water to boil. In a medium sized bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, salt and nutmeg. Add the flour in several additions, stirring to combine. Continue adding flour until the dough is firm enough to handle, but still somewhat sticky.  I find it easier to gently knead the flour in by hand.

    With floured hands, pinch off about a quarter of the dough. Roll between palms and on floured work surface to make a 1-inch thick rope. Cut rope rope into 1-inch pieces. Repeat with remaining dough.  Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to help it hold together when boiling.

    Drop gnocchi into boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until butter browns and emits small puffs of smoke.

    Drain gnocchi on paper towels, then add to brown butter and stir to coat.

    Serve with sauce of choice or on it’s own topped with salt and parmesan cheese.