Tasty Tuesday – Curried Pork in Phyllo

Hi there!

It’s time for Tasty Tuesday!! 🙂

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Make sure you remember to head on over to Lena’s page to check out all the fantastic foodiness and links over there! Oh, and you’ll be excited to know – she’s one of Lärabar’s newest brand ambassadors! Congratulations, Lena! ❤

Now, onto my Tasty Tuesday input!

I was in the mood for some curry but 1. didn’t want to make one of our old standbys and 2. didn’t want to spend the money on a restaurant (even though this place is on our list of ‘hell, yeah, let’s go eat there!’).

So, I made a Curried Pork in Phyllo!

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Yes, I’m aware that’s lame and I need help with recipe naming. I’ll gladly take suggestions. I can’t figure out what else to call it. Curried Pork Log just sounds wrong to me and Curried Pork Pastry evokes strange thoughts – I mean, is it savory? Is it sweet? Is it confused?

Anyway, you’ll find Phyllo dough in your grocer’s freezer. Probably in the same area where you’d find puff pastry. Which is not the same thing. Don’t get them confused. And yes, apparently Phyllo can be spelled fillo.

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Each package of phyllo comes with 2 separately packed rolls. You’ll only want to use one roll for this recipe. Otherwise, it’s too much phyllo. And, while delicious, sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t good.

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And no, they won’t stick together to form a wreath or a circle. No matter how hard you try, how much you cuss, cry, or beg. So, don’t even bother.

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So, even though it may not be the most beautiful creation in the world, once you slice yourself a piece and take a bite, you’ll forget all about it. Warm, flavorful, curried pork nestled into a flaky crust? WIN!

We topped our individual pieces with a little of this Thai Chili & Ginger sauce for a sweet and spicy addition to the curry. It was lovely. It’s also pretty tasty if you just want to drink some straight from the bottle. 😉

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Curried Pork in phyllo
serves about 6-8 people

1 pound ground pork
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Add pork; cook, breaking into small pieces, until no longer pink. Add onions and bell pepper and cook 5-8 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

2. Mix in remaining ingredients and cook 2-3 minutes.

3. Unroll one roll of phyllo dough and separate in half (sheets should come right apart). Spread half of pork mixture on one set of phyllo and roll up; place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Spread remaining mixture on other phyllo sheets and roll up; place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Spray tops of phyllo with cooking spray.

4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until phyllo is deep golden and crispy. Serve immediately.

5. NOM!

Talk to me: Have you ever cooked with phyllo? What about puff pastry? What’s your favorite recipe?

– jennifer

smoky beef and black bean chili

Hi there!

It’s time again for Tasty Tuesday!

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To find out what Tasty Tuesday’s all about, head over to Lena’s to check it out – just click the hyperlink! She started the whole thing and each week, bloggers link up with their best recipes and other posts about food goodies. It’s pretty fabulous and who knows – maybe you’ll find that new favorite recipe you’ve been waiting for! 🙂

This week, I’m bringing you a new crockpot recipe to try – smoky beef and black bean chili!

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Chili is such a versatile dish and SO perfect when the weather turns cooler and you want something to warm you up from the inside out.

And, using your crockpot makes the whole process so much easier! Just a little bit of prep work, toss everything in, turn it on, and walk away.

When you come home – from work, from building snowmen, from shoveling, from raking leaves, from the gym, etc! – a healthy and hearty dinner is waiting for you to customize and enjoy.

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Smoky Beef and Black Bean Chili
serves 4-6
(doubles easily to serve 8-10)

1 tablespoon fat (bacon fat, olive oil, etc)
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds if you prefer)
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 pound ground beef or bison
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from chipotles
Salt, as needed
1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (substitute beans if desired)
Desired toppings: cheese, avocado, sour cream, green onions, tortilla strips, Fritos®, etc

1. Heat fat in large skillet over medium until shimmering. Add onion and peppers (bell and jalapeno), season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6-8 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin; stir to coat and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. And ground beef, season with about 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 minutes. When beef is nearly cooked, add the chopped chipotle peppers and the tablespoon adobo sauce and continue to cook.

3. Transfer mixture to a crockpot, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, and beans, and stir to combine. Cover and cook 8 hours on LOW or 5-6 hours on HIGH.

4. Taste and season with salt, if necessary. Spoon out into bowls, top as desired, and enjoy! 🙂

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Talk to me: Do you prefer Fritos®, cornbread, or tortilla chips with your chili? What’s your favorite chili topping? Beans or no beans?

– jennifer

Tasty Tuesday! – Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Hi there!

It’s Tasty Tuesday time! Whoop Whoop!

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As always, make sure you head over to Lena’s page to check out all the Tasty Tuesday yumminess as she’s the leader of this linkup party.  You never know what you’ll find over there. Maybe some Russian Meatballs or something like that. Bet you didn’t see THAT coming! 😉

I’ve had a lot of interest in my homemade chicken noodle soup so I thought I would share with you how I made it.

I mean, from what I understand, it’s supposed to be a cold winter in most areas and we’ve already had some major temperature fluctuations and everyone is either coughing, sneezing, or both!

Might as well have some of the good stuff handy to help cure what ails you. 🙂

And, you should also have hand sanitizer and Lysol. Lots and lots and lots of both. Since, you know, you can’t walk around in a bubble.

First things first (because, they wouldn’t be first if they came second!), this is not a quick 30-minute recipe. Sorry.

Those are out there and usually require store bought, or previously homemade, chicken broth.

In a way, the soup COULD be a 30 minute meal if you use chicken and broth that you’ve already made.

So, yes, it’s a 30 minute meal.

With about 15-18 hours worth of prep time.

All done in a crockpot so don’t freak out. It’s not like you’re standing in front of the stove for that long. Oh gosh, how awful would that be?

Anyhoo, the first thing you do is prep the chicken.

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I usually buy a 4 pound organic chicken, rinse it and pat it dry, rub it with a paste made of olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, and cook on HIGH for about 5 hours. (You can do LOW just up the time to 8-10 hours.)

I learned a nifty trick from Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean – ball up 4 sheets of aluminum foil, put them in the crockpot, and set your chicken on top of it! They act as a rack, lifting the chicken off the bottom and allowing the air to circulate and the juices to drip freely off the bird without causing a soggy bottom.

Cuz no one likes a soggy bottom.

Once the bird is done, remove it from the crockpot, allow to cool, and start shredding!

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Put all the meat in a container (you’ll have more than you need for soup so …. use some for chicken sandwiches, in salads, in BBQ sauce, etc!) and toss all the skin and bones back into the crockpot.

Um, remove the aluminum foil balls first. You’re done with those.

Throw in a roughly chopped onion, a few roughly chopped carrots (2-3 regular – you don’t even have to peel them!), a couple stalks of roughly chopped celery, some chopped garlic (3-5 cloves), a bay leaf, and fresh (or dried) herbs such as thyme, oregano, parsley, and marjoram. Then, pour about 8 cups of water into your crockpot (honestly, if you’re using a 6 quart, you could probably pour in 10 cups or so) or just to about an inch from the top.

Cover and cook on LOW 10-12 hours.

While you’re sleeping is an excellent time to do this.

Or, you could cook the chicken while you sleep, shred it when you wake up, then prep the broth and let it cook while you’re at work. Then you could totally make chicken soup when you get home!

Okay, so after the broth is done, strain it through a fine mesh sieve and discard the bones, skins, chopped veggies, etc.

Pour your broth into containers suitable from freezing/refrigerating.

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I usually pour them out in one cup or two cup containers.

If you’re freezing the broth, make sure you don’t fill the container all the way full. You need to allow room for the broth to expand.

If you’re going right from the straining to the making of the chicken soup step, pour about 32 ounces of your freshly made broth into a large soup/stock pot.

Bring to a simmer.

Peel and chop a few carrots and some celery and throw those in there. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. TASTE and adjust seasonings.

I like to add more oregano, marjoram, and thyme in addition to salt and pepper.

Tasting is hugely important because you don’t want overly salty soup.

Or at least I don’t want overly salty soup. Blech.

Then, add your noodles and cook about 5-8 minutes. Add in desired amount of previously shredded chicken and cook for about 5 minutes. This is just to finish cooking the pasta and heat the chicken up. You don’t want to overcook either.

If you prefer a creamier soup, you can add a tablespoon of butter and between 1/4 – 1/2 cup of heavy cream with the chicken.

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If you’re making this from the “refrigerated broth” point, heat a small amount of butter in a large soup/stock pot.

Add about 1/4 cup chopped onion, your chopped carrots, and chopped celery. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, if desired. Cook 1 minute.

Add broth and bring to a simmer.

Once at a simmer, follow the steps above for seasoning, adding pasta, chicken, and butter and cream, if desired.

EAT!!!

Talk to me: Creamy or brothy? What’s your favorite pasta shape in chicken noodle soup?