Sunday, March 21, 2010

Black Bean Chili w/Home made Cornbread

Home made Cornbread

1 1/2 cups fresh ground corn chips (use a food processor, and use your favorite chip; I used regular yellow corn tortilla  chips)
1 1/2 cup of white flour
1 Tblsp sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
10 oz cream corn


Pre heat oven to 350 degrees; spay 10" pie dish with Pam cooking spray; in a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix until blended well; Add milk and egg, mix on low speed with hand mixer until blended well; Add cream corn and canola oil, continue to mix with hand mixer on low until well blended. pour mixture into greased pie dish; place into pre heated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until top of corn bread is turning light brown.( you can also check the inside with a long toothpick, if nothing sticks then it is done.)


Using the ground corn chips adds a texture to the corn bread that you will not get if you use regular corn meal. Slightly crunchy, but not overly so. It make a perfect pair with the Black Bean Chili.

Black Bean Chili


1 lb. bag of black beans
1/3 cup of standard chili powder
4 Tblsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Blend
1 whole medium white onion, sliced into 1/4" wedges
4 roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/2" wedges
3 Jalepeno peppers, chopped and seeded
1 Habanero pepper, chopped and seeded
1 tsp Cumin powder
4 Tbsp of fresh Garlic, minced
1 cube(tbsp) chicken bouillon
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tblsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh Feta cheese


The most important part is to get the beans ready. Black beans need to be soaked. Place beans in a large deep bowl and cover with warm water(after cleaning out non-bean material). let soak for 1 hour, then drain. cover with warm water again, let soak for one hour. continue this process until color of water is almost clear, should be about 4 hours. cover with warm water one last time and place in 'fridge over night.


In a 5qt. Crock Pot, place beans and water from last soaking. Place all of seasoning ingredients next, then cover with all of vegetable ingredients.  Add water to cover all ingredients. Turn on Crock Pot to low for 7-8 hours.

Serving suggestion:

On a deep salad plate, crumble about 1 cup of Homemade Cornbread; Ladle out 1 cup of Black Bean Chili with juice included, then sprinkle about 2 Tblsp of Feta cheese on top.

This dish has some heat due to the Jalapeno's and the Habanero, but not too much . Very enjoyable in any type of weather.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pulled Pork via Crock Pot

With this recipe I need to give a great big thank you to my friend Big Mike for providing the baby back ribs that I slow cooked in the crock pot to further soften the meat. This recipe will go great on any style of bread, open, closed or toasted, as well as over rice or egg noodles if you don't have any bread available. On the day I pulled this one from my head, I used it to cover a bed of white rice.


1 slab slow smoked baby back ribs
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 cup spicy BBQ sauce (see previous recipe)


Place rib sections in bottom of 5 qt. crock pot. Add onions, then BBQ sauce. Turn on crock pot to low heat, and cover for 6-7 hours. Bones will be easily removed at this stage.  Use two forks to 'pull' meat apart from itself.

The slab that Big Mike gave me yielded about 1 1/2 lbs of meat, with each serving being around 3-4 ounces, this will make about 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Barbecue Sauce


1 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
2 Tblsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp favorite hot pepper paste 
(you can create this by simply seeding and chopping and your favorite hot peppers, or a mixture of them and then slowly reducing them with 1 tsp of oil per 5 peppers, if you make more than you need for your sauce, you can freeze it)
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime blend
1 Tbsp extra virgin Olive oil


Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil while constantly stirring. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is smooth and thick, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and use immediately. 
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of a nice sweet, dark and tangy Sauce.

If you don't like hot, leave out the pepper paste.

Limitless, really. use on brisket, or on grilling steaks, or on pulled pork, or on grilled chicken. This Sauce is so good,
I would almost eat it by itself.

Brisket Tacos

Brisket Tacos:

So I had my sister-in-law ask me, in that classic '80's commercial flashback, "where's the beef?" Sirloin steak, or something…please.
So I have a couple of recipes coming over the next couple of days which use beef, yes, just for you Cristina. I hope you enjoy as much as we did.
Now I don't eat much beef, for health reasons of my own, so I want you to know this was a real sacrifice on my part, slurp..oh, create and test these recipes, mmm…, before I post them.  
Also, the main reason I am not posting one recipe per day, is so that everyone can see the picture of what the latest recipe posted looks like. Until I can get my photo-bucket account to link properly to this blog, or get my official website up and running, this will have to suffice. and without further ado, I present brisket tacos:


1 1/2 lbs. cooked, chopped brisket meat( you can substitute any left over beef, or pork or chicken here.)
8 white corn tortillas
2 cups lettuce of choice, shredded
1 cup cheese of choice, shredded
1 Tbsp dark chili powder (get it in the hispanic section of your market)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 Tbsps unsalted butter
Plenty of your favorite Salsa
dash of Cumin (cumin is so powerful, to give a measurement to how much is actually used is not possible, maybe a 1/16th of a tsp. or less)


Pre-Heat 10" skillet on medium heat, then add butter to skillet. Add meat to melted butter, and begin to saute. Add all seasonings and mix thoroughly. The meat is already cooked, so you are looking to only heat it up not re-cook it.  Place Tortillas in a tortilla warmer, and heat in Microwave for 30 seconds on high.   Using a Tablespoon, place 2 heaping spoons onto each tortilla. Cover meat with lettuce, then sprinkle cheese on top. Add a generous portion of your favorite salsa.
Makes 8 Tacos.

If you are not using a smoked meat, during the saute process add a couple of DROPS of artificial smoke. Artificial smoke is very concentrated, so be careful not to use too much.
Sauteing is a quick way to cook food if you use high heat, and a very quick way to heat up already cooked food: continually stirring the food while maintaining the medium heat will have this portion of meat heated in about 3-4 minutes.