Tamale Pie


We love spicy Mexican food and can’t get enough of it. I cook it at least once a week so I’m always looking for new Mexican recipes.

Tamale Pie
Source: A Couple Cooks

1 (18 oz) tube polenta
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1/2 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup taco seasoning
dash to taste – cumin, cayenne, dry cilantro, garlic powder
1.5 cups shredded cheese
sour cream for serving

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray an 8×11-inch baking dish (or similar size).

Spread the polenta into an even layer on the bottom of the baking dish.

Cook the ground beef with onion an bell pepper, then drain. Stir in the taco seasoning, canned tomatoes, any additional seasonings and mix until heated through and well combined then add the corn and black beans. Layer the beef mixture over the polenta. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake about 20 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Top each serving with sour cream.

Enjoy!

Harvest Chili

On a cold and lazy weekend I just love to enjoy a big bowl of chili for dinner.  So that is exactly what I made last Sunday.  You know that I have my go-to family favorite chili recipe, but I decided to mix things up after seeing Milk & Honey’s recent post.  I’m glad I tried it because it’s nice to have options.

This chili definitely had some sweet flavor notes from the sweet potatoes but it was spicy too.  That is totally adjustable based on the type and amount of seasonings that you add.

Harvest Chili

inspired by:  Milk and Honey

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes {about 1.5 pounds total}, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 pound lean ground beef

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 large onion, diced

2 chipotle peppers, minced – I omitted these completely by accident

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained {I used about 1.5 cups dry pinto beans, that I soaked overnight and then cooked}

1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz) can hominy, drained  {You can sub corn or butter beans}

1 (46 oz) can tomato juice

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Saute the peppers, carrots, onion, garlic in a frying pan just until tender.  Add them to your large crock-pot.  Then cook the ground beef until no longer pink, drain it, and add to the crock-pot.

Also to the crock-pot add:  the pinto beans, hominy, chopped sweet potatoes, seasonings, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and juice.  Stir everything together.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for about 5 hours or just until the potatoes become tender.

Beef Short Ribs Braised in Tomato Sauce

As I mentioned previously, short ribs were a part of our enormous beef order and I had no idea what to do with them.  After searching some blogs and googling, I kept coming back to this recipe.  Overall we were pleased with it, but I thought the ribs were a little fatty and greasy.  Because of this, I don’t think I will intentionally buy short ribs in the future, but its fine that they come with our 1/2 cow.  I’ll just have to try out a few different recipes to experiment before I completely rule on this one.

Beef Short Ribs Braised in Tomato Sauce

Source:  So Tasty, So Yummy

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 to 2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
salt and pepper
1 ounce pancetta, diced – I used 4 strips of bacon
½ onion, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup porcini mushrooms – I just used button mushrooms, sliced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup red wine
1 (14.5 ounce) cans whole tomatoes with their juice – I used diced tomatoes

Season the beef ribs with salt and pepper.  In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it flows like water when the pot is tilted.  Add the beef ribs and cook, for 2-3 minutes per side, until richly browned on all sides.  Remove the ribs from the pot.  Lower the heat to medium and add the pancetta to the pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to the plate with the short ribs. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pot. Add the onions and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned on the edges, 6-8 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, mushrooms, and oregano; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Pour in the wine; scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.  Stir in the tomatoes, beef ribs, pancetta, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove the cover, increase the heat to medium-low, and simmer for up to another hour, until the beef is tender.

Transfer the ribs to a plate; shred the meat.  Meanwhile, if the sauce is too thin, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until it reaches the desired thickness.  Stir the meat back into the sauce.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary, and serve over mashed potatoes or polenta.

Spaghetti Beef Casserole

This recipe calls for two of the dreaded gelatinous canned condensed soups, but I really don’t care.  I try to buy the low-sodium ones and try to avoid using them more than once a week.   I’ve been making this dish as long as we’ve been married and we really enjoy it!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – casseroles are just so good, man.

This makes a really big casserole so I divide it into two dishes and freeze one.  Win win!

{Picture was taken before it went in the oven.}

Spaghetti Beef Casserole

Source:  clipped from an unknown magazine over 4 years ago

Ingredients:

1 pound dry spaghetti

1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 of a jar of pimentos {probably 2 tablespoons} – optional

1 can condensed tomato soup

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of water {to rinse out the cans of soup}

2 cups of shredded cheese – cheddar or mozzarella or other kind of your choice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray one large or two medium-sized casserole dishes with non-stick spray.

Cook the spaghetti in boiling water.  Drain.

Meanwhile cook the ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper in a really large skillet until beef is no longer pink.  Drain off grease.  Add soups and water and about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Mix together, then add the cooked pasta and stir everything together.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish(es).  Top with shredded cheese.  If you are cooking one large casserole, bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot.

If you are cooking one smaller casserole now, bake it for about 30 minutes or until hot.

Cover the extra casserole with freezer wrap/foil, label it, and place in the freezer to be used within about 3 months.  When ready to use it, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, set out on the counter for about 30 minutes before placing in a 350 degree oven and baking for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until hot throughout.

Mongolian Beef

I don’t remember if I have mentioned this before?  We buy 1/2 a cow once a year, so we have a ton of beef in our freezer.  Therefore, I’m always looking for recipes to use the cuts of beef that are plentiful.  Of course grilling steaks and ground beef are easy to use, but the numerous packages of roasts, stew meat, cubed steak, short ribs, brisket, and on and on kind of stump me.  One cut that is not included in our freezer beef is flank steak, which this recipe calls for, so I substituted beef stew meat which worked quite well.  It was maybe a little on the tougher side than flank steak would have been, but carefully trimming the connective tissue helped.

This meal had great flavor, pretty intense smells too.   Tim pointed out that the whole house smelled like soy sauce, but I didn’t mind.  🙂  I’ll definitely make this meal again, since it was very quick to prepare.  Actually I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today!

Mongolian Beef

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Prepared rice

1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise {I used stew beef that I trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces}
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar (measured, not packed)
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large green onion, sliced thinly {I used chives}

Pat steak slices dry and add to a bowl with corn starch. Toss to ensure all pieces are just coated. Shake off excess corn starch using a strainer.

Heat 1-1/2 tsp oil in a large wok or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.

Turn the heat to high and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides. Pour the sauce back into the wok and cook until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Add the green onions (a pinch reserved for garnish), stir, and remove from heat. Plate, top with remaining onions, and serve over rice.

Cream Cheese Lasagna

First of all, I’m really happy I made this lasagna even though there was one major thing I didn’t like about it.  I actually learned a lot by making this recipe.  In the past whenever I made lasagna, I always used an entire box of noodles, creating several layers and when sliced, the pieces never held their shape and they would go sliding all over the plate.  That fact was part of the reason I started making lasagna rolls most recently – they stay neatly rolled and are easy to serve.  But, this recipe calls for just 6 noodles {I used 8} which means less layers and it held together extremely well when sliced.

Another thing I learned, and probably the most obvious, is that cream cheese makes a wonderful lasagna filling!  I never would have thought of that.  Of course ricotta and/or cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan are obvious ingredients.  The cream cheese creates a thicker filling, which also helped to hold the layers together I would guess.

Now, the thing I didn’t care for at all – the lemon zest.  I should have went with my gut and omitted it from the start, but I decided to stay true to the recipe.  We could taste the lemon in the very first bites we took.  We did not like it, but were able to get past it and eat it because there was no way I was going to throw the whole thing out!

Lastly, I concluded that the pepperoni is completely optional.  Sure it added nice flavor, but I could have done without it.  Again my gut told me to leave it out, but I used it anyway.  I don’t regret it like I regret the lemon, but I will probably skip it next time.

Cream Cheese Lasagna

Source:  Runs with Spatulas

6 or 8 Lasagna noodles
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup onion, chopped
salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 pound ground beef
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup fat-free low-sodium beef broth – I omitted
1 (8 oz) package reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons lemon zest – OMIT
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 (4 oz) package pepperoni or salami slices – I used turkey pepperoni
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and 1 teaspoons olive oil and cook according to package directions until al dente.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, and cook until they start to become fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef, breaking up into smaller bits with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with garlic powder and red pepper flakes and cook until brown (about 8-10 minutes) stirring often. Turn off heat and stir in tomato sauce, paste, and broth until the mixture is fully incorporated.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Stir in the eggs until well mixed, then add in the salt, nutmeg, parsley, basil, lemon zest, and Italian seasoning.

Spray a 12x8x2 glass {I used a 13×9 which is why I used 8 noodles} or ceramic baking dish with nonstick spray.  Spread part of meat mixture on the bottom of the pan so it is lightly covered. Layer with 3 {4} lasagna noodles. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over the noodles, spreading evenly across the noodles. Top with 1/2 the pepperoni, followed by 1/2 the mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture, lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, pepperoni, mozzarella and finally the shredded Parmesan.

Cover lasagna with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes, dabbing off excess grease from the pepperoni if necessary prior to serving {This wasn’t necessary for me because I used turkey pepperoni}.

Serves: 12

Porcupine Meatballs

I had meatballs on the menu for the other night, but was tired of the BBQ meatballs that I usually make, so I went with these porcupine meatballs.  They are made with uncooked rice that puffs during the baking time, making them look like the spikes of a porcupines.

Porcupine Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

1/3 cup milk {maybe less}

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 jar {approx 26 oz} spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup water

Combine the ground beef, rice, Parmesan, and seasonings together in a large bowl.  Slowly add the milk, adding just enough to bring the mixture together.  Form into golf ball sized meatballs and place in a casserole dish that has a lid.  Pour on the spaghetti sauce and water.  Cover with the lid and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes about 18 meatballs.

Previous Older Entries