Mexican Tlayuda

I know what you may  be thinking right off the start. T-what? Tlayuda. It’s essentially Mexican street food, in particular of the pizza descent. Think of great Mexican ingredients loaded onto a cooked, large flour tortilla. This is typically street food, and good Lord is it ever good, and fun to eat. This is a popular snack food, but let me tell you, it can be turned into a meal depending on the ingredients you put onto it. Typically a single tortilla, I was super hungry and decided I would go full force and make this a ‘double tlayuda’. Think of it as an open faced pizzadilla. You can make these with all sorts of your favorite proteins, but I wanted chorizo, a classic Mexcican ingredient, and in particular on the tlayuda. The classic uses some drizzle of lard, but I’m not into that as I am getting enough from smashed black beans cooked in some oil, garlic, and onions.

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Recipe
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large flour tortillas (You can use one if you prefer)
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained, cooked, lightly mashed
  • Approximately 1 cup of Mexican chorizo, fat strained, and cooked until a bit dry
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of raw slaw
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • your favorite hot sauce or salsa
  • 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz bag monterray jack cheese

Start by getting a small pot on the stove on medium heat. Add in the oil, then toss in the onions, cooking a few minutes until lightly softe

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Ingredients
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Ingredients

ned, then add in the garlic. After about a minute, toss in the black beans and water. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium to medium-low heat. Once the beans have softened a bit, use a fork, or potato masher, and start to mash the beans. I do not go for a few refried blend on these as I like some texture from the beans. Go about 50/50 on that mash.

OK, next step. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a flour tortilla, smear some black beans on it, some cheese, and some jalapenos to your liking, (again I  used two on this one as a stack), and place it on a sheet pan and place in the preheated oven. Cook for about 2 minutes, just to cook it slightly to lightly brown.  Once the cheese is slightly melted, remove from the oven.

Stack another tortilla on top. Gently press. Add enough bean mash to lightly coat the the entire top tortilla, then a generous amount of cheese to cover the top, then more jalapenos (if ou desire). Spread the cooked chorizo all over the top tortilla, along with a generous amount of cheese, and place back into the oven. Cook until the cheese is nice and melted, the tortilla nicely browned, and then remove.

Once you remove, shower with some of the raw coleslaw, fresh cilantro, and drizzle your favorite salsa or hot sauce.

Now you can fold this, or you can slice into wedges. I’m a wedge man. Wedges are good.

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza

Holy Moly. If you think about this all together, well you are going to drool. When you eat it, it makes you want to be alone and devour the whole thing so no one is looking. It’s so good, and something that should probably come off the street and onto Mexican restaurant menus. Spice, cheese, crisp, soft, veg. What’s not to love. Make it (stacked or not), and I’m sure you will love it. Enjoy!

 

 

Indian Chili

I have had a serious craving for Indian food lately. I mean like a really bad craving. Unfortunately there are not a whole lot of Indian restaurants near where I live, so I had to take matters into my own hands and come up with what I am calling Indian chili. I call it that as while my wife, daughter, and I were eating it my wife had asked what the dish was called. I had no clue, but it was hearty, comforting, and truly delicious, plus it was on a Sunday, a day where I normally make chili, so I coined it Indian chili.

Indian Chili Recipe
Indian Chili Recipe

The recipe has everything I love about Indian food, and is loaded with two types of beans, making it a healthy choice for weeknight meals.

Lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of red lentils, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup of red beans, soaked in warm water for 45 minutes
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 1 whole carrot, finely diced
  • 1 red chili, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 2 bonless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • salt to taste
  • whole cashews, optional
  • Naan, warmed, optional
  • 2 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • salt to taste

Start by straining your lentils and beans, and pick out any rocks if you see them. I rarely do, but some times they slip in.

Next, heat a large pot, enough to hold all of this madness, and heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. Add in the onions, potatoes, and carrots, and cook until the onion begins to soften. Once softened, add in the ginger, garlic, and chili. Once the garlic perfumes your kitchen, toss in the lentils and beans, and give a good stir. Cook this on medium heat for a couple of minutes, then increase the heat to medium-high and add in the chicken stock. Next add in the chicken, cover, reducing the heat to medium-low, and cook until the red beans have softened, about 1 1/2 hours.

Once the beans have softened, get another small skillet set on medium-high heat, and add the remaining oil.

Indian Chili Ingredients
Indian Chili Ingredients

Once the oil shimmers, get the lid ready to cover, and toss in the mustard seeds. Quickly cover as those seeds are going to start dancing and the oil is going to start popping. Once the seeds pop, add in the turmeric, paprika, and cumin, giving a nice stir. After about 20 seconds of stirring, scoop all of that mixture into the chili pot and give that a good stir. Cook the chili for about another 10 minutes, allowing all of those awesome spices to infuse the chili.

Season the chili with a generous pinch of salt, stir, and taste. If it needs more salt, and it may, feel free to add more.

Ladle the Indian chili into a bowl, sprinkle with cashews, and serve with warm naan.

Talk about a great spin on Indian food, and the comfort of chili, this one is it. If you are looking for a great weekend meal to prepare, and one that gets better for leftovers, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs

One of the things I truly love is snacking. I could snack all day long, however I find that my snacking time is really only after work. My go to snacks are pretty much cheese, hummus, or kettle style chips. As the cheese and chips are not all that great for me, I decided to turn things up a bit and make some simple skillet fried chickpeas, or garbanzo beans.  Chickpeas after all are what I use to make hummus, and as I have roasted them in the oven in the past I wanted to do something a bit different with them this time. This is where a bit of oil, cloves of garlic, and a can of chickpeas came into play.

Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs
Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and lightly patted to dry
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, skin removed, lightly smashed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt to taste

Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the oil and let it come to temperature, a couple of minutes.

Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs
Skillet Fried Chickpeas with Garlic and Herbs

Next add in the chickpeas and garlic, and give this a good toss. Continue to cook, and toss at this temperature for about 20 minutes, or until they become nice and crispy. Once crispy, season with salt and thyme, giving them another good toss.

Serve immediately. The result is a great crispy exterior, with a creamy interior along with great garlic notes (feel free to eat the garlic), and a salty thyme flavor that have you going back for more. This is truly a great after work snack, and one that is good for you to boot! Hope you enjoy.

Italian Wedding Soup

It’s funny how some things come about. For example this recipe stemmed from a conversation I had with some of our neighbors. We got on the topic of food, as we pretty much always do, and we started talking about soup, as it is nearing soup season here in Wisconsin. I brought up the idea of Italian wedding soup, as obviously I was craving it, and later that day I was in the kitchen making it. I wanted a bit of a simple soup, but one that was hearty and that could be eaten over the course of a few days. This was exactly the soup that was not only comforting, but one that was really easy to make.

If you have never had Italian wedding soup, it is essentially a soup made with meatballs, and some sort of greens. In my case, I used a variety of greens as I wanted something healthy to balance out the marriage of the meatballs.

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

If it is any indication, my wife fell in love with this soup and said it was the best she’s had, as she has tried a variety from other restaurants in town.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 6 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 heads of endive, torn
  • 2 whole broccoli leaves, chopped
  • 2 whole brussel sprout leaves, chopped
  • 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • Additional parmesan cheese for serving

Start by adding your ground chuck to a mixing bowl. Toss in the egg, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, parsley, and egg. Mix with your hands incorporate all of the ingredients. Form into golf ball sized meatballs.

Next, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Take the meatballs, and sear on all sides, cooking until medium. Remove the meatballs, once cooked, and place them onto a paper towel lined plate.

To a soup pot, add the canola oil and let it come to temperature. Toss in the onions, carrots, celery, broccoli and brussel sprout leaves (if you are using) and garlic. Cook until the onion begins to soften, then add in the stock, garbanzo beans, endive, and the meatballs.

Ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup
Ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup

Cook this until the stock begins to boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or so.

When you are ready to serve, ladle the greens, stock, and meatballs into your soup bowl. Garnish with more parmesan cheese, and dig in.

I don’t know what is best about this soup besides everything. The greens, at least in my opinion, are what shine in this Italian wedding soup. The balance out everything. It’s so savory, garlicky, and just down right comforting. If you are looking for a great soup, give this one a shot, plus it’s a great use of your broccoli and brussel sprout leaves if you are growing them in the garden. Hope you enjoy!

Italian Wedding Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American-Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 6 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 heads of endive, torn
  • 2 whole broccoli leaves, chopped
  • 2 whole brussel sprout leaves, chopped
  • 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • Additional parmesan cheese for serving
Instructions
  1. Start by adding your ground chuck to a mixing bowl. Toss in the egg, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, parsley, and egg. Mix with your hands incorporate all of the ingredients. Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  2. Next, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Take the meatballs, and sear on all sides, cooking until medium. Remove the meatballs, once cooked, and place them onto a paper towel lined plate.
  3. To a soup pot, add the canola oil and let it come to temperature. Toss in the onions, carrots, celery, broccoli and brussel sprout leaves (if you are using) and garlic. Cook until the onion begins to soften, then add in the stock, garbanzo beans, endive, and the meatballs.
  4. Cook this until the stock begins to boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or so.
  5. When you are ready to serve, ladle the greens, stock, and meatballs into your soup bowl. Garnish with more parmesan cheese, and dig in.