Queso con Carne

Queso con carne. That pretty much translates to cheese with meat, or what I consider deliciousness. I will admit that this is something that I only make about one time a year, as I typically never buy the Velveeta cheese. Trust me, I look at that cheese, or glance for that matter, and always think to myself what the heck is that stuff. I never look at the label, the calories, but only the box. But this time of year, I pick it up, and I know what I am making with it. Cheese crack, I mean queso con carne.

Queso Con Carne Recipe
Queso Con Carne Recipe

It’s an ultimate game day food, and it holds well for days to come. It’s the scoopable dip, and one that my family loves.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Velveeta cheese
  • 8 oz can of Ro-tele
  • 6 oz lager beer
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (reduce if too spicy)
  • 1 lb cooked ground chuck or beef
  • Crispy tortilla chips

Start by cooking your beef until slightly crispy. Drain the fat from the beef, and return to the pot.

Next add in the beer, cayenne pepper, and the block of Velveeta cheese. Reduce the heat to a simmer, low, and cover, cooking until you have a smooth sauce. Adjust your heat to your patience. I know, you want it and you want it now, so if you do not want to cook on low heat, adjust the temperature, stir, and just make sure it does not burn.

Does Velveeta even burn? Who knows.

Ingredients for Queso con Carne
Ingredients for Queso con Carne

When the queso is nice and smooth, serve into a small bowl, or large for that matter, and serve alongside crispy tortilla chips.

Scoop and dig in. This is something I make for my wife once a year (maybe twice), but now my kids are totally loving this stuff as well. I should consider making this into a grilled cheese, but the only exception is that it is all gone!

Hope you enjoy, and cannot wait until warmer weather gets to us!

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Slow Cooker Beef Madras

You know that time when you are really wanting some great Indian food, and wanting that great curry gravy? Yeah, I had one of those moments recently, and I was glad that I did! The most recent dish I made is called beef madras. It is essentially an Indian style curry made with beef, but this time I decided to prepare everything in advance, and let it cook in a slow cooker for about 8 hours until the beef was fall apart tender. This beef madras is loaded with awesome flavor, dark in color, rich, and just warms the soul. I was a bit skeptical if my kids were going to eat this, but you know what, they devoured it! All of it. That’s always a great thing.

Slow Cooker Beef Madras Sandwich Recipe
Slow Cooker Beef Madras Sandwich Recipe

Yes, I turned my beef madras into a sandwich, but traditionally it is served on a bed of rice, of which my kids could not get enough of. Your choice, but whatever route you go with, it’s going to be a great route, trust me.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs cubed beef
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, chopped
  • .8 oz curry powder (yes, I used store bought, don’t judge me)
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • French baguette, optional
  • cooked jasmine rice
  • fresh onion, sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, optional

This sounds like a lot, but it is really a quick throw together meal, and after some initial stove work, it all gets dumped into your slow cooker, and then you can walk away only to be bombarded by some awesome smells through the day until you are ready to eat.

Let’s get going.

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in half of the oil, and let it come to temperature. Once heated, add in the onion, and give a good stir. Once the onions soften, about 6 minutes or so, add in the garlic, tomatoes, and once you get that great aroma from the garlic, add in chili flakes, curry powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and ginger. Give this a good stir, and cook the seasonings for a few minutes.

Remove the mixture to a plate, and set to the side.

Beef Madras Ingredients
Beef Madras Ingredients

Rinse out your skillet, and return back to the stove.  Add the remaining oil, and keep the heat on medium-high.

Season the cubed beef with some salt, then add the cubed beef to the skillet. Your goal here is to brown the beef, not fully cook it. Once browned, add the onion and seasoning mixture back to the beef mixture, give a good stir, then add the beef stock. Stir again, then add everything to your slow cooker.

Cover, and cook on the low setting, and cook for 8 hours or longer if you desire. Stir along the way.

Now when you are ready to serve, take some rice and place into a bowl, then ladle in the beef madras. Top with fresh cilantro and onion if you desire.

The result is nothing short of fantastic. The beef is super tender, and that curry gravy will have you coming back for more. Again, I was really surprised watching my kids devour the beef madras. They came back for seconds, they loved it that much, and for me, well, I made the sandwich, and there was something about it. It almost reminded me of a beef au jus. That gravy set into the baguette, and made it that much more special. This is a real winner if you are into a great beef curry. Hope you enjoy!

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Mexican Chorizo Egg McMuffin

One of my favorite breakfast sandwiches is probably the egg McMuffin, and I make them at home all of the time. I’ve made everything from a corned beef mcmuffin, my son’s favorite sausage and egg mcmuffin, and my favorite, the classic egg mcmuffin. But then came along this one, the Mexican chorizo egg mcmufffin. See another one of my favorite breakfasts is chorizo and eggs, mixed together and served with warm tortillas. To me that is a very comforting and filling breakfast, and hence why I came up with this recipe.

This is everything I love about both breakfast items, turned into one, and if you like chorizo, you are going to love this one as well.

Mexican Chorizo Egg McMuffin Recipe
Mexican Chorizo Egg McMuffin Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole English muffin, toasted
  • 1 slice of American cheese
  • 1 whole egg, cooked in a metal round
  • 1/4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican chorizo (beef or pork), cooked, oil strained

Start by cooking your chorizo. To a small skillet, remove the chorizo from the casing, and cook on medium heat for about 6-8 minutes until it gets fully cooked and a bit crisp. Strain all of the oil. This is the tricky one, and trust me a lot of oil gets released when cooking Mexican chorizo. Once strained, set the chorizo to the side in a small bowl, wipe out the skillet, and let’s start cooking the egg.

One of my favorite things I purchased years ago were these round cutter sets from Amazon.  If you have these, lightly butter the inside of the round, place inside of the skillet, drizzle the oil inside of it, and crack the egg into it. Cook on medium heat, and when the edges, and top begin to cook through, take a butter knife and work your way around the inside of the round, and loosen the egg. The round may just lift up, but the knife is used just in case it does not.

Carefully flip the egg, and cook another minute or two.

How to make a Mexican chorizo  egg mcmuffin
How to make a Mexican chorizo egg mcmuffin

Now it is time to build the Mexican chorizo egg McMuffin.

Take the bottom half of the toasted English muffin and place it on your serving dish. Add the slice of American cheese, then the cooked egg, then the warm Mexican chorizo. Top with the top of the English muffin and get ready to dig in.

This is everything you love in an egg McMuffin but the real surprise is when you get that awesome smokiness from the Mexican chorizo. It is a little sloppy, I’ll admit, but not overly sloppy. Will I put this into my array of breakfast items? You bet. I hope you enjoy!

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Bun Bo Hue

For those of you that love Vietnamese pho, you are going to really fall in love with Bun Bo Hue. I know it sounds crazy, and it’s probably hard to pronounce, and hence why you may order #14 off a Vietnamese restaurant menu, and all of that is perfectly fine, but trust me, just trust me on this. You may want to find your local Vietnamese restaurant and order this before making it, and I’m definitely down with that, but if you are craving a great bowl of soup, and one that does take time to make, then this is the one. Similar to pho in a way, but a bit more unctuous and with a different style of noodle, this bowl of soup will have you wanting more, and more.

Bun Bo Hue Recipe
Bun Bo Hue Reciped

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 pounds ox tail
  • 2 pig’s feet
  • 2 lbs pork shank
  • 2 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1 whole onion, halved
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 4 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 pieces lemongrass, tops removed, smash the remaining stalk
  • 6 whole dried shrimp
  • water, enough to cover the meat
  • 2 tbsp Maggi sauce
  • 4 tbsp sauteed shrimp paste
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp annato paste
  • 2 tbsp shallots, diced
  • thinly sliced white onion, about 1/4 cup per serving
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil, per serving
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, per serving
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • 2 cloves additional garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp additional lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 1 package, bun bo hue noodles, cooked until al dente
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • limes, cut into wedges
  • Thai red bird chilies, optional
  • spinach leaves, optional
  • pork blood, optional (I am not a fan)

I know, a lot, right? It’s well worth it though, trust me, plus this allows you to up the ante with your Asian ingredients. The end result is a stock so rich in flavor, that you could simply eat it with noodles, but the fresh herbs really bring this soup to the limelight.

Start by getting a large soup pot ready. Add in all of the meat, and cover with about 2-3 inches more of water. Make sure the meat is properly submerged, and bring it to a simmer. During this time, make sure you ladle off any of the scum that comes to the surface. Trust me, there will be plenty of scum.

Boil for about 20 minutes, then strain the meat, and rinse in a  bowl with cold water.

Clean the soup pot, then return the meat back to the soup pot, cover again with water, then add in your lemongrass, garlic, celery, maggi seasoning, fish sauce, dried shrimp, and onions. Bring this to a simmer, then reduce the heat, and cook for for about 3 hours.

Remove the all of the meat, and let it cool. Once cooled, remove as much as the meat from the oxtail, and the feet, and chop it. Do the same with the beef short ribs. Keep the stock simmering.

Bun Bo Hue Ingredients
Bun Bo Hue Ingredients

To a skillet, add in the canola oil, and bring this to a medium heat. Add in the annato paste, shrimp paste, additional garlic,  and shallots. Give this a good stir, and cook for a few minutes on medium heat until the shallots soften. The annato paste is what gives the stock a great color. Now add this to the stock, and give it a good stir.

Now we are ready to serve.

To a serving bowl, add in the cooked noodles, top with random pieces of pork and beef, top with thinly sliced onions, laded in the broth and serve with the sprouts, chilies, and all of the fresh herbs.

The broth. What can’t I say enough of about this broth. It’s super rich, kind of velvety from all of that fat that it was cooked in, and then those awesome thick and rounded noodles. Pho really just met its match, and as much as I am a huge fan of pho,  this bun bo hue just took it to a whole new level. Hope you enjoy!

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