I love soups and tex-mex food and this recipe combines the best of both worlds! This soup combines a delicious mix of green chilies and tomatillos, chorizo, hominy, potatoes and spices. I went a little overboard with the garnishes and topped the soup with crumbled queso fresco, green onion, fresh lime, cilantro and smokey baked croutons. Even the croutons alone in this recipe are stand out awesome and could easily be snacked on alone! The recipe does require a lot of ingredients and time to prepare but it is totally worth it in the end. I actually never made anything with hominy before and I thought it worked really nicely with the other ingredients. The soup was hardy, with multiple layers of sweet, spicy and savory flavors. I chose a beef chorizo for the meat but soy and pork varieties would work fine in this soup. All of the ingredients blended together so well and I was happy with how it came out!
I guess I always overlooked beef chili a bit. This is probably because I didn’t care much for ground beef for a long time. Lately I have been enjoying this chili recipe because it is so simple and tasty. It gets points for the amount of ingredients (you can count them on one hand.) That is definitely not the norm for chilies which can require up to 20 ingredients! This chili should be cooked on a heavy bottomed saute pan where it slow cooks for about an hour. I like the taste of grass-fed ground beef so I use it for this recipe. The amount of hot sauce to add into the chili is really up to personal tastes. I like it on the spicy side so I add approximately 1/4 cup. I topped the chili with sharp cheddar and it can be served on top of rice or with corn bread.
Malaysian Rendang is a delicious slow cooked beef dish simmered in coconut milk and spices. The cut of beef used is usually a cheap cut that is good for slow cooking. Eventually the tough part of the meat breaks down over time and becomes tender. The dish starts off with a lot of liquid and slowly evaporates as it’s cooking. Eventually the liquid cooks almost completely off, coating the beef with tasty coconut flavor, tamarind, and spices. This is a great weekend project to try as the results are really satisfying but it’s also a labor intensive dish that requires a lot of time and effort. If you have trouble finding the ingredients at grocery stores, I would recommend going to a local asian or Thai market which might carry the more obscure ingredients. The dish is popular in Southeast Asia and once I made it I could see why! The beef was tender and bursting with flavor. I served it with a side of Malaysian flat bread called ‘Roti’ which was a perfect accompaniment to scoop up the last bits of sauce.
Since Korean food works great with Tex-mex I wanted to try Korean-style tacos again! Usually “kalbi” refers to Korean BBQ short ribs but I really wanted to try the kalbi marinade on skirt steak since it’s a great meat for tacos. The marinade consists of ginger, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and asian pears so it was really easy to throw together. If you can’t find asian pears I think it would be alright to substitute in regular pears. I marinated the steak for about an hour before grilling. I used a flat pan to saute the beef at a high temperature, but I’m sure grilling the beef would be a great way to get extra flavor. The tacos were really tasty! I loved the sear on the beef along with the flavors of the kalbi marinade. I really enjoyed the sweet and savory kalbi beef with the tangy sesame soy dressing. I topped the tacos with chopped tomatoes, a cilantro lime salsa and sesame soy sauce dressing.
What better way to try out a tasty new salsa than to serve it with tacos? I picked out a skirt steak for these tacos because you can get a great sear on the outside and I figured it would go well with the salsa. I went simple and just seasoned the steak with a little cumin and smoked paprika. The salsa, steak and onions went really nicely together. Caramelized onions are so good on tacos so I add them in whenever possible. I caramelized the onions in the leftover adobo sauce which added a smokiness that wasn’t too sweet. Then for a little texture and crunch I added some red cabbage on top. A little crumbled queso fresco added creaminess (sour cream would probably work fine too.) All together, this was a really delicious taco and I look forward to having it again sometime.
Pho is one of my favorite soups simply because the broth is so flavorful. A while ago I made Pho Ga which is the same soup only made with chicken. Then I went to a local Pho restaurant and the beef pho was just fantastic and I knew I had to try the beef version as well. The pho is seasoned with star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger, and cloves which gives the stock a fragrant and savory aroma. The most important part of making good stock is the beef. Charring the onion and ginger is an important first step for the stock as well and needs to be done over an open flame. I chose to make the stock with 4 pounds of beef neck bones with neck meat and the stock came out really well. Beefy and flavorful, it was one of my favorite stocks I have ever made! I chose some thinly sliced, good quality beef for the actual soup which cooks after pouring the boiling stock over the meat. My second favorite part (the first is the broth obviously) is all the great condiments that mix together in the broth! I chose cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeno peppers, Thai basil, Hoisin sauce, and Sriracha for the condiments but you can pick and choose whatever you like. Making the stock takes time but it was well worth the effort as the soup turned out great!
Since I enjoyed the pork mole negro I made a while ago I thought I would try it in a chili. Originally I started with a basic recipe for meat chili and it eventually evolved into both a mole and a chili recipe. I’ve always thought the flavors in mole would go well in a chili and it turns out I was right because this was very tasty! The flavors of the chili were multi-layered and complex (probably because of the 20+ ingredients in it). This recipe is ideal for a large slow cooker but a sauce pot on low heat would work fine too.
Believe it or not, Californians experience winter too (relatively). It’s gotten colder and rainier now that it’s November, and i’ve been wanting to make a nice, hearty stew. I was excited to try this recipeB because I remember my mom’s beef barley stew from the crock pot. This recipe turned out a lot more savory and different than my mom’s, but it was still very good. I have a modern crock pot that is um, very efficient at cooking (which kind of defeats the purpose of a slow cooker, but whatever). Anyways, I have to be very careful to not over cook meats. A recipe might say to leave everything in for 6-7B hours on low and with my cooker the meat is done in 90 minutes and everything else is raw. This has caused some problems in the past. In order to compensate (since I do really like my crock pot), I have resorted to taking the meat ingredients out and cooking the rest for several more hours. I have a large, 6 quart cooker so if you have a smaller one make sure to use less of everything.