Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leftover Makeover: Tex Mex Fried Chicken Noodle Bowl

This is a fast and satisfying dish for two involving leftovers, and an homage to 'souping' up a plain package of my college hero, Ramen.  This would be a long awaited addition to my early installments of 'Dormitory Gourmet', economical, but also small, one to two person, one dish meals.   I had a piece of fried chicken(thigh), corn on the cob, diced tomatoes and sour cream.  All these items, sans the fresh herbs that grow in my herb garden were from a part of another dish during the past week, the corn being from the night before.  The chicken was 'new' from store bought batch night before last.
 I keep Ramen on hand because it's convenient and a neutral food that kids can hardly fuss with, usually!
 I pulled the chicken from the bone in large pieces, then diced it, keeping the crust to help thicken the cream sauce that would coat and marry the ingredients together.  I cut the corn from the cob in planks, trying to keep it as whole as possible.  Sour cream contributes to the creamy sauce and robust spices like cumin, smoked paprika, coriander and red pepper flakes give it Latin/ Mid Western flair.
Recipe:
1 piece fried chicken, de-boned and diced, about 1 cup
1 pkg. Ramen, remove seasoning packet and reserve for another use if not chicken
1 3/4 c. hot tap water
1/8 to 1/2  tsp. or to taste powdered chicken bouillon or base*
2 heaping tbsp. sour cream, regular or light, whichever you have
Cumin, smoked paprika, coriander and red pepper flakes  to taste
1 piece corn on the cob, cut from cob
2 heaping tbsp. diced tomatoes, can or fresh, I used canned
Fresh or dried chives
Fresh Parsley, rough chopped
olive oil for drizzling
Sriracha if desired
SPST
*if you do not have Chicken flavored Ramen
Instructions:
Place Ramen, chicken base and water in pan and bring to a boil.
After about two minutes, add chicken.
After about one more minute, reduce heat and stir in sour cream.
About 1 minute more and well blended, add spices and herbs.
Turn off  heat and fold in veggies.
Fold until well blended and drizzle with olive oil.
Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tri Color 'Pepper Steak' Style Venison Chili Beans

Well hunters and huntresses, Fall is here, and it's time for some free roaming, grass fed greatness that is venison again!  I have secured my position in the wild game rally for this year's season.  I have been clearing my freezer to make room for my future deer and readying my mind for some new and exciting dishes to bring to you, including the one I present today.
I was so elated when I caught a Kitchen-Aid grinder attachment at a steal towards the end of last year.  I was finally going to be able to make my own quality market type grounds at home.  I have an antique grinder, you know the kind you attach to a good sturdy farmhouse style table, like the ones we used when I was a girl and helping with the cutting, grinding and curing of our livestock.  Yep, it brings back memories, wonderful ones, but I am glad I have the automatic kind, just to make things a little easier from time to time.
 I do all the butchering for my wild game, a fact for which I am proud, as not to underestimate a 'wonder' that is 'woman' as my hidden tattoo suggests!! I used my grinder to prepare the protein for the recipe above.  This way, you can control exactly what goes into your finished product and know it is a labor of love.
I used three types of beans for this  recipes and oodles of peppers, both in the form of a homemade salsa, furnished by my sister Linda's bestie, some green peppers gifted from a local garden, as well as some mini sweet peppers from the supermarket. I simmered this chili for hours, to develop the depth of these wonderful flavors and scent the house with some country and comforting aromas, but you will be ready to enjoy this in about an hour if you wish.
A crock pot will certainly be ideal, especially considering how busy the day can get, including but not limited to work, school, kids, chores, after school activities, after school sports, appointments, deadlines, canoodling and that mysterious thing referred to as peace of mind! weening the dish from the sometimes off-putting gaminess that is meat from the wild.   I soak all my cuts in a salted and acidic bath containing lemon or vinegar at least overnight.
Bold and warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger lend well to the flavor profile of this dish and venison as a whole. These hearty beans will stand up to a long simmering and absorb the flavors like little protein packed sponges, but don't just take my word for it...Plus a fresh and bright or crunchy garnish helps every meal an individual's own, no bowl will be the same, and it exceptional the next day!!!
Recipe:
2 lbs. ground venison or desired protein
1 medium onion, small diced, about 1 cup
4 oz. uncooked smoky bacon, small diced
1 green pepper, small diced, about 1/2 cup
1/2 c. red, yellow and orange mini sweet peppers
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 to 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 soft beef bouillon cube or 4 c. beef stock concentrated down to 2 c.
2 c. homemade or organic chunky salsa
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. Chinese 5 Spice
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1 15 can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz.can Black Beans, drained,but NOT rinsed
SPST
Fresh Thai Basil for Garnish
Garnish Bar: Optional of course
Fresh chopped onion
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Chives
Diced Cucumber
Slivers of Radish
Fritos/Doritos/Tortilla Chips
In a heavy bottomed sauce-pot or dutch oven, over medium high heat, brown and render bacon pieces, about 4 minutes.
Add onions.
Cook with bacon for several minutes, until the onions are fragrant and translucent.
Add fresh peppers and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add garlic, spices and sauces and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let go for an hour.
If desired, here is where you can add the beans and simmer for about 10 minutes or until heated through and serve.
OR:
Simmer chili mixture for about 1 1/2 hours, then add beans and continue to low simmer for about 2 more hours.
Crock-pots cut the hassle altogether,  just let it go all day on low setting adding everything at once.
Serve with crackers or crusty cheesy or buttery bread.



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Smokinhotchef
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