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Pork & Poblano Tamale Pie with Cornbread Topping

7 Mar

Every now and then, I get the urge to step up my game in the kitchen.  Don’t hate, I worked evenings for 5 years, so making dinner at lunch time wasn’t as easy as having time to thaw out something and make it in time for work.  Anyway, my sister got me a Bon Appetit subscription one year, so I pulled out one of those guys.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually made anything from them, simply because I find something that sounds amazing, and I fold the page and forget about it.   Also Bon Appetit recipes, at first glance,scared me a bit.  The majority of the recipe titles had words I had never heard of when it came to ingredients and cooking styles.  Radish raida?  Reminds me of Indiana Jones eating a radish.  Waterzooi?  Aquarium.  Fatayer?  Is what I am getting as I eat.  Is it just me?  Well years later of saving all my magazines, it paid off.  I am now dating a great catch, who also has a passion for food.  Anyway, he has introduced me to many things I probably never would have tried if I hadn’t met him.   Here we are indulging at The Publican in Chicago.The Publican

Here are a few of the things we had off the exquisite menu:


Blood Sausage

Heard of them on the Food Network, never actually considered trying.  The sweetbreads were to die for.

Back to Bon Appetit.  I dived in to a recipe with a title I could comprehend.

Pork & Poblano Tamale Pie

Digging in!


Pie Filling Ingredients

4 large poblano chiles

1 large green bell pepper

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 – 10 oz package frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 lbs boneless country-style pork ribs, cut into 1-inch cubes


2 cups chopped white onions

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tbsp minced seeded  jalapeño chiles

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 cup low-salt chicken broth

1 cup salsa verde  (tomatillo salsa)

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cornbread Topping:

Topping Ingredients

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal  (preferably whole-grain stone-ground)

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp chili powder

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

1 tbsp honey

1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Sour  cream

Prepare Filling:

1. Char poblano chiles and bell pepper over flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.

Peppers Over Open FIre

Transfer chiles and bell pepper to large  bowl; cover and let steam 10 minutes.

Peppers Resting

Peel, seed, and coarsely chop chiles and  bell pepper.  (This, my friends, was a pain in the ass.  Having never worked with poblanos before, this method of mine actually worked.  I charred, not thinking I had to peel them after.  So, I didn’t char as much as I should have.  Hence, the peeling was a pain in the butt.  I also peeled with my hands.  Then I got frustrated, so I googled it.  So when you guys make this, char the hell out of it.  Blacken on all sides, and when you are ready to peel, take a knife, and use it like a peeler.  So much easier.  If only I had googled before doing my own retard method.  I literally was trying to do it for 20 minutes.  Stupid poblano.  But, it worked.  Moving on.)

Charred Peppers

Peeled Peppers

Seeded Peppers

Diced Peppers

2. Coarsely puree thawed corn kernels in processor.  Cover and refrigerate corn puree until ready to use.

3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle pork with coarse salt and pepper.  Add pork to pot and sauté until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to medium bowl.

Pork Cooking

4. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to pot, add chopped onions and sauté until tender.  Add spices, garlic, jalapeño, and oregano.  Stir a minute and return pork and any accumulated juices to pot.  Add chicken broth, scraping up browned bits.  Add salsa verde and bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add chopped chiles, chopped bell pepper, and half of corn puree to pork mixture.  Cover partially and simmer until pork is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


6. Transfer pie filling to 10-inch-diameter 2 1/2-inch-deep ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron).  Stir in cilantro.

Prepare Cornbread Topping:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Whisk flour, yellow cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and chili powder in large bowl to blend.  Whisk remaining corn  puree, whole milk, melted butter, egg, and honey in medium bowl to blend.

Dry & Wet Topping

 2. Add corn puree mixture to flour mixture and stir just until blended.  Stir in 1/2 cup  grated cheddar cheese.

Cornbread Topping

3. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup cheddar cheese over pie filling in skillet.


4. Drop cornbread batter by large spoonfuls on top of pie filling.  Spread cornbread batter evenly to cover pie filling completely.

Added Topping

Added Topping

Bake tamale pie until cornbread topping is deep golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 – 40 minutes.



Digging in!

Serve tamale pie with sour cream.


D-E-L-I-S-H!!!  Bon Appetit, I will be making more of you!  And maybe next time, if I’m feeling frisky, I’ll make your Snert, Etson Mess, or your Salzburger Nockerl.


Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

10 Feb

Well it’s cold out down here, kind of.  And I don’t want to slave in the kitchen for a hearty meal.  Hello crockpot.

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Soup


5 pounds russet potatoes, 1/2 inch cubes, skin on

1 medium/large yellow onion, diced

10 cloves of garlic, minced

8 cups chicken stock

16 oz softened cream cheese

1 tbsp seasoned salt

Pepper to taste

Garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions (optional, but go big or go home)

I halved this recipe since there is only 2 of us, and there were plenty left overs.

1. Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, & chicken stock to crockpot.

Cooking potatoes

2. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.

3. Add the softened cream cheese.

Cream Cheese

 4. Puree soup with an immersion blender until the cheese is mixed in and about half the soup is blended.

Immersion Blender

5. Stir well.

Taste test:

Initial Spoonful

Pretty tasty.  However…

Garnished Spoonful

Pepper, thick cut bacon, pepper, shredded cheddar, pepper, and green onions.  Much better.

Chile Lime Garlic Chicken Fettuccine Goodness

24 Nov

I don’t know how I became one of these people, but I’m kind of a one pot wonder girl.  Instead of making a bunch of different sides to go along with a main dish, I do the all-in-one thing.  Carb + protein + veggie.  Done.  So pasta is always a favorite of mine.  And this is one of my absolute favorite recipes!

You will need:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces or strips

1 packet of McCormick Buffalo Wing Seasoning Mix

2 tbsp olive oil (pictured is butter, but I used olive oil)

2 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (I like spice, so use as much as your taste buds want)

1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

2 tsp lime juice

1 box fettuccine noodles

1 jar favorite fettuccine alfredo sauce


Portabello mushrooms


Roasted red peppers (I used the jarred ones)

2 package crescent rolls

3 tbsp canola oil

2 tbsp parsley

3 tbsp parmesan cheese

1 tbsp garlic powder


1. Add cut up chicken to gallon sized plastic bag and coat with seasoning mix.  Set aside.  Boil your water and make your noodles.

2. Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in skillet.  Add chicken and cook thoroughly.

3. This step is optional, but if you want to add some more goodies, do it now that the chicken is cooked.  I added portabello mushrooms, spinach, and roasted red peppers. Mix in and sprinkle with lime juice and cilantro.  Mmmm…

Mix the yumminess with your noodles.  So that’s the pasta, but with pasta in my house comes bread.  So, I decided to do the braided stuffed thing again (See February post).  Here is the basic run down:

This is my go-to topping for bread.  Canola, parsley, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.


PS ~ This recipe is also delicious with shrimp instead of chicken.  If using shrimp, use the butter instead of olive oil when cooking.

Oven Roasted Chicken with Green Beans and Red Potatoes

8 Oct

Getting dinner on the table is typically a rushed affair in my household, but it’s important to me to deliver a square meal to the fam. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of “roasted dinners”, where everything is done in a 425 degree oven and very little hands-on is required. That leaves me free to do the things I love, like dishes, folding clothes, and pace-bouncing my Moby-clad crying baby around the house. Not.

Anyway, the roasted dinner consists of a protein, one or two veggies, and sometimes a carb. It just takes a little prep and some shuffling of roasting pans, and you’ve got yourself a meal. Vary the meats and veggies for variety, and enjoy!

Roasted Chicken with Green Beans and Red Potatoes

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken leg quarters, bone-in with skin
  • 3 T butter, softened
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 – 3 tsp herbs of choice ( I like a mixture of rosemary, thyme, and parsley)
  • 1 tsp pepper

Mix herbs, salt, and pepper into the softened butter. Arrange chicken pieces on a rimmed baking sheet, allowing space between the pieces. Use your fingers to rub the butter mixture all over the chicken pieces, especially under the skin. Cook for 35 – 45 minutes, or until done.

*If also cooking green beans and potatoes, cook the chicken for 15 minutes, then add the beans and potatoes to the oven on a lower rack. Cook everything for an additional 20 minutes, and all will be done at the same time.

For the green beans:

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut to desired size
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic (or 1 tsp bottled minced garlic)
  • salt to taste

Pile the green beans on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle oil over and add garlic and salt. Toss to coat, and spread beans in a single layer. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until beans have shriveled slightly and have blistered in spots.

For the potatoes:

  • 2 lb new potatoes, cut to bite sized pieces
  • 1/8 C olive oil
  • herbs/seasonings of choice (I like rosemary and cayenne)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pile the potatoes on  rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss to coat, and spread potatoes in a single layer. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until soft.

Chocolate Covered Katie

The Healthy Dessert Blog

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time