I planned our Super Bowl menu around this dip. Thankfully, it was very well received! I served it in the skillet and we scooped it out onto individual plates to gobble up with tortilla chips. Some chips may have also been dipped directly into the pan. 😉
The recipe was adapted from a Bon Appétit “healthyish” recipe, contributed by Shilpa Uskokovic. The original recipe convinced me to use American cheese slices in the queso layer to help it emulsify and to keep the cheese layer from solidifying.
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 T Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
1 T apple cider vinegar
For the Queso & Assembly:
2 tsp adobo from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt, plus more
4 oz yellow American cheese, coarsely grated or chopped or torn if using singles (about 1 cup) (I used 6 Trader Joe’s singles)
3 oz Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
freshly squeezed juice from half a lime
1/4 cup (4 T) sour cream
1/2 cup good-quality salsa, drained if watery (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle salsa)
1 (4 oz) can fire-roasted, diced green chilies or 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
tortilla chips, for serving
To Make the Beans:
Melt the butter, cut into pieces, in a medium deep skillet over medium heat. (I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add the chopped onion, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Monitor the heaat, and continue to cook, stirring often, until onion is pale golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
With the pan over medium heat, and add the chopped garlic cloves and cumin. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chopped chipotle chiles, pinto beans, rinsed, and salt. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a simmer, mashing beans with a potato masher until mostly smooth.
Cook, stirring often, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. (Beans should be risotto-like in consistency, loose enough to fall off a spoon.)
Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Cover and keep warm.
To Make the Queso & To Assemble the Dip:
Whisk adobo, cumin, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Add chopped/grated American cheese and cook, whisking vigorously, just until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add grated Monterey Jack; whisk until cheese is melted and queso is smooth (return to low heat briefly if needed). (I cooked it over low for about 2 minutes to melt the additional cheese.)
Using your hands to avoid bruising, toss the avocados pieces with lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
Uncover beans and pour queso over.
Top with dollops of sour cream, followed by salsa, diced chilies, and then avocados.
Scatter sliced scallions and chopped cilantro over the top.
Serve dip warm in skillet with tortilla chips.
Do ahead: Beans can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat over medium-low, thinning with water and seasoning with salt as needed.
This simple and flavorful chili is a lighter version of a classic beef chili. It is wonderful healthy option. It was included on a list of Food and Wine magazine’s best chilis.
The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Art Smith. In the article he said, “(this) turkey chili is a big favorite of Oprah’s.” I modified the proportions and added additional toppings. We ate it with corn muffins and green salad on the side- it was still “healthy-ish!” 🙂
Yield: 6 to 8
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds ground turkey
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
three 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup beer (such as lager)( I used Negra Modelo)
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
sliced scallions or chopped chives, for garnish
sour cream, for serving, optional
shredded cheese, for serving, optional
In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the turkey and cook over medium-high heat, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes.
Stir the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook until no pink remains, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the cooked turkey to a bowl.
Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the remaining turkey.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the onion to the pot. Cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, chile powder, cumin, oregano and chipotle powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Return the turkey to the pot.
Stir in the carrot, bell pepper, tomato puree, beans and lager and bring to a boil.
Stir in the stock and vinegar, cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
Add the thyme, season with salt and pepper and serve, garnished with scallions or chives.
Although I typically prefer vegetarian Ethiopian dishes, I felt compelled to try this chicken dish after seeing it on Milk Street. This chicken and red onion stew, Doro Wat, is the national dish of Ethiopia. I made Ethiopian Stewed Collard Greens, Gomen Wat, with my CSA collards as an accompaniment.
The recipe was adapted from a home cook, Tigist Chane in Addis Ababa, via 177MilkStreet.com, contributed by Courtney Hill. Ghee is substituted for Ethiopian fermented butter.
Instead of injera, Ethiopian flatbread, I served the stew over brown Basmati rice with warm naan on the side. The original recipe notes that it is important to make your own spice blend, berbere, to control the amount of heat in the finished dish. We omitted the optional hard-cooked egg garnish.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Berbere Spice Blend:
2 T smoked sweet paprika
1 T sweet paprika
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/2 tsp dried basil, ground or crushed into a powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
For the Chicken Stew:
5 T ghee, divided
3 large red onions (about 2 pounds), finely chopped in a food processor
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
about 5 T Berbere spice blend (see above) (I used the entirety of the spice blend)
12 medium to large garlic cloves, minced in a food processor
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved
3 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed, seeded (if desired), and finely chopped, optional
2-3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced, optional (I omitted the eggs)
lemon wedges, to serve, optional
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional
Injera or naan, for serving, optional
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee until shimmering. (I used a large, wide and shallow enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, then cook, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat if the onions begin to brown before they soften, until lightly browned and completely softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons ghee, the berbere spice blend and 3/4 cup water.
Stir in the garlic, followed by the chicken.
Reduce to medium-low, cover and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 30 minutes.
Uncover, increase to medium-high and cook, stirring and scraping along the bottom of the pot, until the stew is thickened and a wooden spoon leaves a brief trail when drawn through the sauce, 5 to 10 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with the scallions, chilies (if using) and sliced eggs (if using); serve with lemon wedges on the side, as desired. (I served it over brown rice with warm naan on the side.)
The dish was based on a Mexican dish called cecina enchilada, thinly sliced pork marinated in a chili sauce. This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Diane Unger. I modified the proportions. Serving rice on the side was essential to soak up every drop of the wonderful sauce. Simple and delicious.
The grilled pork could also be sliced and used as a taco filling with chopped white onion and fresh cilantro. Rice and refried beans would make this a complete meal as well. Next time!
Yield: Serves 8
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T ground cumin
2 T sweet paprika
4 tsp ground coriander
4 tsp packed brown sugar
8 medium to large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 1/4 pound each, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (can use more, to taste)
2/3 cup lime juice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil, cumin, paprika, coriander, sugar and garlic. Microwave on high until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute.
Measure out 6 tablespoons of the seasoned oil, including some of the solids, into a large baking dish.
Cut each tenderloin in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise.
Between sheets of plastic wrap, use a meat pounder to pound each piece to an even 1/8-inch thickness.
Place the meat in the baking dish, turning to coat on all sides with the oil mixture. Cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce and prepare the grill.
Into the remaining oil mixture, whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, the chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high. Cover and heat the grill for 5 to 10 minutes for charcoal or about 15 minutes for gas, then clean and oil the cooking grate. (I used a gas grill.)
Place the pork in a single layer on the grill (on the hot side if using charcoal) and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes.
Using tongs, flip each piece and cook for 1 minute. Transfer browned side up to a platter. (See Tip)
Stir the sauce to recombine, then drizzle 1 tablespoon over each cutlet. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Tip: Don’t grill the second sides of the cutlets for more than about 1 minute or they will overcook. Aim to get charring on only the first sides, then serve the pork charred side up.
Everyone loves butter chicken. This recipe was adapted to make sous vide from a viral Instant Pot recipe. The original recipe by “The Butter Chicken Lady,” Urvashi Pitre, was even published in The New Yorker.
This version was simple to prepare and resulted in perfectly cooked, ultra tender and moist meat. The sauce was amazing too. My husband declared that it was the best butter chicken I’ve ever made! Easy and delicious.
The recipe was adapted from How to Sous Vide: Easy, Delicious Perfection any Night of the Week by Daniel Shumski. We ate it with roasted asparagus and warm naan.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 tsp garam masala, divided
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 to 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5 or 6)
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup (4 T) tomato paste
brown Basmati rice, for serving
warm naan, for serving
Set the water temperature to 165 degrees F. (It took a little bit shy of an hour for 10 quarts of room temperature water to reach the temperature with my Anova machine.)
In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp garam masala, the garlic powder, turmeric, paprika, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, and ginger.
Dust both sides of each chicken thigh evenly with the spice mixture. Pour any remaining spices into the sous vide bag.
Place the chicken in the bag and evenly distribute 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter.
Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in a second bag; remove as much air as possible.
Place the bagged chicken in the preheated water. (I clip the top of the bag to the side of the water bath container.)
After 1 hour 30 minutes, remove the bagged chicken. (Near the end of the cooking process, I cooked the rice and vegetables.)
Remove the chicken from the bag and set it aside.
Pour the juices from the bag into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
Add 1/4 cup (4 T) cream, the cilantro, the remaining 1 tsp garam masala, and the tomato paste. Blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.
Pour the blended sauce into a medium-size skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 4 T (1/2 stick) butter and the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Cook, stirring gently, until the butter is melted and the sauce becomes homogenous, about 1 minute.
Gently place the chicken in the pan and stir to coat.
Cook over medium-low heat, about 1 minute.
Serve the chicken over rice drizzled with additional sauce and garnish with cilantro. Serve with warm naan, if desired.
Note: Any extra sauce can be refrigerated in a covered glass container for up to 5 days. Serve over rice, roasted vegetables, or chicken.
This dish was a fun, delicious, and healthy dinner. Everyone in my house loves a meal that involves assorted toppings! 🙂
The recipe was adapted from Antoni Let’s Do Dinner by Antoni Porowski of Queer Eye. The chili published in his last book is one of our absolute favorites, so I knew that we had to try his vegan version (vegetarian with the optional sour cream and cheese toppings).
We ate it with cornbread muffins on the side. Wonderful.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Chili:
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups water or a combination of stock and water
2 T tomato paste
1 T chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 T finely chopped chipotle chilies in adobo, plus more to taste (about 1 medium chile)
2 tsp packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup tricolor quinoa, rinsed
For the Toppings:
coarsely crushed or broken tortilla chips
shredded Mexican cheese blend, cheddar, or pepper Jack cheese
sliced or cubed avocado
chopped red onion or sliced scallions
canned mild green chilies or sliced fresh or pickled jalapeños
chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, dissolve the tomato paste in 2 1/2 cups water or in a combination of stock and water. (I used 1 cup stock and 1 1/2 cups water.)
Stir the chili powder, cumin, and oregano into the onion mixture and cook, stirring, until the spices begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, beans, chickpeas, chipotles, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and the tomato paste mixture. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a low boil.
Add the rinsed quinoa, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Remove the chili from the heat and adjust the seasonings and chipotle to taste.
Add the water to thin, if desired.
Serve with assorted toppings (and cornbread, if desired).
This flavor-packed weeknight dish was included in Milk Street Magazine’s “Tuesday Nights” series which features weeknight dishes with bold and fresh flavors. I have found that meatballs that incorporate a panade, hydrated breadcrumbs, are very tender- great.
The recipe was adapted from Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Calvin Cox. According to the original article, these Greek oblong shaped meatballs are known as soutzoukakia smyrneika. Traditionally, they are served with tiganites patates (potatoes fried in olive oil). We ate them with crusty bread to sop up every bit of sauce. The dish could also be served with roasted potatoes or a rice or orzo pilaf.
Yield: Serves 4
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 large garlic cloves, 2 finely gratedn(I used a garlic press), 1 thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey
In a medium bowl, combine the panko, egg and 1/2 cup water, then mix until homogeneous. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the panko to hydrate. (This step is very important in order to create soft and tender meatballs.)
Add the pork, cumin, the grated (or pressed) garlic, 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon oregano, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, then mix well.
Divide into 11 or 12 portions (each about a scant 1/4 cup), then shape each into a 2 1/2-inch-long cigar (oblong) shape.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. (Non-stick can be used; I used a 12-inch stainless all-in-one pan.)
Add the meatballs and cook without disturbing until browned on the bottoms, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the meatballs and cook until browned on the second sides, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat, transfer the meatballs to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside.
Return the skillet to medium-high and add the sliced garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and starting to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes, cinnamon, honey and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, then bring to a simmer.
Place the meatballs in the pan and return to a simmer. Cover and simmer, undisturbed, until the centers of the meatballs reach 160°F, 12 to 14 minutes.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper.
Transfer the meatballs and sauce to serving dish. Drizzle with additional oil, if desired, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oregano.