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Category Archives: Soups

Chicken Cacciatore

As I sit here trying to think of some clever and entertaining way to start this recipe, I remember that I have not done anything interesting for months other than rescue a turtle from the road.  Even on that day I spent half of my hike resting with the dogs instead of being productive.  Pregnant people suck, we are boring, the only thing we talk about is babies, pregnancy and food.  Fortunately you came here for the food right?

6 months down, 3.5 to go!

6 months down, 3.5 to go!

Ok, so this recipe is so amazing we even shocked ourselves.  Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a rustic stew prepared “hunter-style” with tomatoes, onions, and herbs…enjoy

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs with the skin removed
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • about 1/4 cup bone broth (or more as needed)
  • am container of baby portabella mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • an onion
  • several springs of fresh rosemary
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • a pinch (or more) crushed red pepper
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • handful of fresh herbs, I used parsley and basil, but thyme and oregano would be good too
  • small scoop of cooking fat (butter or coconut oil)
  • and of course, what is a meal without 8 pieces of bacon

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Fire up that grill and start chopping up all of your veggies and rosemary, put those in a bowl and set aside for later, then chop up that bacon.  Put the bacon and a bit of starter cooking fat into a grill friendly pan.  I used the Weber Gourmet BBQ system here, if you don’t have that a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven would work too. Season the thighs on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and go check those coals, they should be ready by now.

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Here is my setup, I seared the chicken thighs for a couple of minutes on each side until they got some grill marks and then set aside.  Do not cook these all the way through because they will finish up in your sauce. I put the bacon on there too, so it can start releasing some of its yummy bacony goodness.  Lets see a close up of that beautiful pork porn…

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Oh yeah baby!

Once your bacon has given you a nice amount of fat in the bottom of your pan add in your chopped veggies, garlic and rosemary and sauté, stirring frequently so they don’t burn.  Once they start to caramelize season them with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper then add in your tomatoes and let everything simmer for a few minutes. I kept a bit of bone broth on hand in case things started to look dried out and added a little bit at a time.  If you are using a dutch oven with a  lid you probably wont have this problem.

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Once those veggies start to get tender nestle those chicken thighs into the stew and let them finish cooking.  Once they hit 165, carefully pull the pan off the grill and serve with fresh herbs.  I even topped mine with a little shaved pecorino romano, but that is because it would take divine intervention to get me to give up cheese permanently.

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Don’t click on this picture unless you have a towel handy to wipe up the drool

The only word that comes to mind when I try to describe this dish is a-friggin-mazing! Derek, who had previously never even heard of chicken cacciatore, devoured it, gushing about how wonderful it was with each bite, and then asked if I would make it again.  An absolute must-have when you are sick of the same old burgers on the grill. Weber should seriously pay me to cook with their products!

Also, have you entered to win your free copy of Beyond Bacon yet?  Get on it!

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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Bacon, Chicken, Soups

 

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Pizza Chili

Yep, I am cooking indoors again for a while. Cold and snow aren’t my thing, I am not dedicated enough to my livelihood to go outside and freeze my ass off when I am a freaking awesome at inside cooking too.  I know it is a lame excuse.

Pizza in a bowl beats liquid pizza nightmare, hands down

Pizza in a bowl beats liquid pizza nightmare, hands down

So, this recipe was created from a craving for pizza and a love for chili…all of the home-made pizza taste, with only a fraction of the effort

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB fat for browning your meat
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 TB dried basil
  • 1TB dried oregano
  • 1 t ground thyme
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 cans or 1 tetra-pak of diced tomatoes
  • 2 TB chili powder
  • 1 package of white mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 t paprika
  • 2 t parsley
  • 2 t whole fennel
  • 2 TB balsamic vinegar
  • a few bunches of fresh basil
  • whatever pizza toppings you like, pepperoni, olives, go crazy!

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Ok, I know that sounds like a lot, but most of this stuff you probably already have if you keep a well-stocked paleo kitchen.  Start by heating up a pot, or dutch oven to brown your meat in.  After it looks cooked through add your balsamic vinegar and deglaze, that means scrape all of the tasty bits off the bottom.  Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste, then all your veggies, and spices, reserving half of fresh basil for adding at the end, and the other half garnish.  If you are feeling naughty throw some cheese on the b*tch…whats pizza without cheese?

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There is a little trick to getting beautiful basil confetti, stack the leaves up and roll them like a cigar, .then cut across to get perfect little strips, and voila! Perfect basil garnish

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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Beef, Pork, Soups

 

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Chipotle-Cajun Jambalaya

How is everyone doing on their New Year Resolutions so far? I honestly can’t wait until the flood of people give up on their “work out every day” resolution and I have some space at the gym again, jeesh.  I wanted to give up coconut butter for new years, but I knew that would last about an hour so I made a few more reasonable goals.

  • Deadlift double bodyweight
  • Squat 200lbs
  • give up coffee
  • do a whole30/sugar detox hybrid
  • read more books

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I know what you are thinking, I must be f*cking insane giving up coffee,convenience foods, and all fruit and sweet potatoes at the same time, but I don’t like to do anything half-assed.  I am already into my 2nd book this month, real ones too, not the kind with lots of pretty pictures, and I obviously have to slowly work up to my strength based goals, although I am getting really close.  Working out in January sucks though, I wish all these people decided to buy a treadmill instead of a gym membership…at least then they could use it as a coat rack when they quit.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1(or 2…I will explain later) cans of tomatoes
  • 12oz of bone broth, or whatever broth or stock you have on hand
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 3 dried chipotles
  • A package of chicken breast tenders, or two chicken breasts sliced up
  • 2 cups of shrimp
  • Pork sausage
  • I also snuck in a handful of kale or two

Ok, so the cajun mirepoix(base veggies for soups) is always bell peppers, celery, and onion; however it was like the apocalypse or something when I went to get celery from Trader Joes because the produce section was bare.  An employee informed me that they did not get a produce truck that day so I was sh*t out of luck.  There goes my cauliflower rice and celery….if you have these things, then by all means please add them to the recipe, but I was not hauling my ass all over Virginia looking for organic celery.

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Lightly grill your chicken tenders, they cook fast so someone should be baby sitting them, that is actually why I used them, because they don’t require a lot of cooking.  They don’t need to be perfectly done, they will finish up in your stew so just a few minutes on each side.  Set aside the shrimp and sausage, then chop everything else up and throw it in your dutch oven, I cut up my chipotles with kitchen shears because it will save you a sh*t ton of time.  D insisted that there was not enough liquid in the pan and that it would not cook right, not wanting to argue about the veggies releasing liquid as they cook I let him throw a second can in, this just made it more like a stew…if you like things on the soupier side add two cans…or don’t…I don’t really care.

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We used hickory wood in the 22.5 inch Webbie and cooked this for about 30 minutes uncovered while the sausage got nice and smokey off to the side.  We then added in about 4TB of cajun-style seasoning:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom (or for Whole30/Sugar Detox sub with salt and add cayenne pepper to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black  pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

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Your sausage will be done when the internal temp reaches about 160, slice it up and try not to eat it all while the rest of your food finishes cooking.  After 30 minutes on a grill toss your shrimp into the jambalaya and put the cover on the dutch oven.  Let everything cook for another 20-30 minutes or until everything looks cooked through.  Adjust the seasoning to your taste, we added in a couple extra tablespoons, and serve.

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The hubbs informed me that avocado is not very cajun…you should eat it anyways though because it is delicious.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Chicken, Pork, Seafood, Soups

 

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Dirty South Clam Chowder

I have some serious anger issues this week, every time I sit down to write it just turns into some pissed off rant about how I am sick of hearing about the health problems of people who do nothing to be healthy.  Yep, that’s right, everyone from back home has serious health problems and when they wash down fast food dinner with a few vodka-redbulls I lose all sympathy.  See, there I go again.  I think I need to just stop talking to people, people make my angry.  I wish I could say that my dogs make me happy today…but it has been non-stop Wrestlemania in my house lately as well.  The champion, weighing in at 100lbs, Captain Kirk; The contender, 30lbs of fury, Sonya Blaze.  Fight!

You know what makes me feel better after a long day of being pissed off at the world? Well…chocolate mostly, but a nice hearty bowl of soup helps too.  New England and Manhattan have their clam chowders…now we have ours.  A spicy, smokey chowder that is full of fall veggies and friggin awesomeness.

You will need:

  • A can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • One tablespoon hickory liquid smoke
  • 1lb of shrimp
  • about 2 dozen clams
  • ¼ cup of butter or coconut oil
  • One bunch kale
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup BBQ rub
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • And a big ass mirepoix( celery, carrots, and onion)

Please don’t ask me to measure that stuff, it was about one bunch celery, 5 carrots, and an onion….it doesn’t have to be perfect…just wing it and chop everything up real well.  I am a “kitchen sink” cook, so I throw in everything I have (except the kitchen sink).  Have turnips lying around, some fresh scallops,chard instead of kale? Great use those.

Ok, no dual-zone fire today, just fire up the whole grill and get it nice and hot.  We are grilling with our dutch oven, so I wrapped the bottom in tin foil to help prevent those lovely soot stains.  Throw all of your veggies in with your fat and let them sauté over direct heat in any covered grill friendly pan (or on the stove if you want to cut corners…I won’t judge). Add a little bit of your broth for moisture as needed.

Throw your clams on the other side of the grill in a small pan with a little water and heat them until they just pop open.  They don’t need to be cooked through 100% because they will finish in the soup.  If you have never cooked clams before, remember to throw out the ones that are open before you cook them and ones that do not open from cooking, it means they might have died.  If you don’t do this you will make me very angry…and you wouldn’t like me when I am angry…

Hulk Smash!

Ok…just kidding.  Anyways, once your clams are done, add your liquids into the pot along with your BBQ rub.  I used a blend of Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom  (very spicy) and Old Bay.  Cover your pot and let everything simmer while you go inside and prep your meat.

Get the clams out of their shells, and get the skin and tails off of your shrimp.  This sounds easy, but it takes time to peel shrimp…this will give your soup time to simmer.  This helps break down some of the starch in the sweet taters and it thickens your soup without having to add any mystery thickening powders.  Add your seafood back into the pot and let it simmer for another 20 minutes or until all the veggies appear cooked and the shrimp turn opaque.  Adjust your seasoning to taste before serving and enjoy!

Holy crap that was delicious.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Seafood, Soups

 

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Shotgun Willie’s Braised Beef Chili

Perhaps there really is no Shotgun Willie, but if there were, he would totally make chili like this.

chili always looks like crap in pictures

It took me forever to fire up the grill today, I am pretty convinced it is because of a new disorder that I am pretty sure I have, and also just invented.  ADCD: attention deficit cleaning disorder.  I started to clean up the aftermath of hurricane Derek in my basement and prior to finishing I moved on to the drawers in my kitchen, and once those were dumped out and all over the counter I started on the cabinets.  At this point I have crap everywhere and start thinking “F*ck this, I am going to cook instead.”  So I had to make some room on my counter to start a fourth project for the day.

That is one sexy piece of meat

You start with a roast instead of ground beef for this recipe, that is what makes it so incredible.  Salt and pepper that baby and set it off to the side.

I also used all of this stuff:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 sweet taters- chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 banana peppers
  • 2 serranos (I keep them in my freezer at all time just for this chili)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • onion, I used half, you can use a whole one, doesn’t really matter
  • one bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef bone broth
  • a few cloves of garlic: smashed and roughly chopped
  • A pack of chopped tomatoes, you can also use a can or jar of salsa if you like

You also need all of this:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup chili powder.  It is a great thickener.
  • 2 TB oregano
  • 2 TB paprika
  • 2 TB cumin
  • 1 TB coriander
  • 1 TB onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TB garlic powder(you can never have enough garlic)
  • crushed red pepper to taste (optional)

Before you start your prep work soak your wood.  I used mesquite here because of its bold intense flavor.  This is definitely a wood made to be paired with beef, as it would be too intense on a more delicate piece of meat like fish.  After you have everything you need and some nice wet wood, it is time to start-up those coals.  I used a lot, in a high heat fire. A thin layer in the bottom of the grill with a heaping chimney of hot ones.  The unlit ones in the bottom simply gives you a longer burn time.

In a grill friendly pan (I use enameled cast iron), throw in your roughly chopped garlic, tomatoes, bone broth, spices, and taters in your pan, then throw your serranos in whole.  You will take these out at the end (if you’re smart) but they just infuse a nice flavor and the perfect amount of heat.

Once your wood chips start smoking, put your meat directly over the high-heat to give it a sear, and your pan on the indirect side.  As a bonus I also put my peppers on there to get a nice little sear.  I then put the meat into the pot and deeply scored it with a sharp knife.  You can skip this step if you want to cook your chili all day, if not then cut several very deep gashes into your meat to increase the surface area and therefore the speed at which it is cooked.

Cook the chili with the pot uncovered(but the cover on the grill) for the first 30-45 minutes to let the smoke flavor penetrate.  Once you chop all the rest of your veggies you can set those aside until you after that 30-45ish minutes is up.  Give your pot a quick stir, add the veggies, and put the lid on your pot.

This one takes time, so tell all the furry little scavengers to wait their turn for beefy goodness

Anyways, you are going to let your chili cook for about an hour, only stop to stir once or twice.  After an hour you might want to check the heat and add more coals, you want to keep the fire at about 350, and you can read a bit more about grill temps here, just in case you are a newbie. Now, just let your chili cook with the grill cover on.  In the meantime, why don’t you go play fetch, go for a walk, or clean up that epic mess you made all over the house.  Whatever you do, just leave your chili alone.

After a couple hours, your meat should be fork tender.  I broke mine apart into bit sized chunks with a wooden spoon.  If you have a huge roast or didn’t score your meat(like a dummy), you will have to add more coals and let it cook until the meat is fork tender.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve! I almost forgot… be sure to pull those serranos out!

This is the fabled Shotgun Willie!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Barbeque, Beef, Soups

 

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