Category Archives: Braising

Corned Beef Hash Quesadillas

This Monday was St. Patty’s day, a day that I have pretty much grown to love, primarily for the sale of corned beef. I’ve said it from time to time on this site that my wife is not a big fan at all of corned beef. How does that make me feel? Well, pretty good, seeing that I can eat the majority of it throughout the week. Unfortunately this week, I’ve been laid up with pneumonia of all things, and on St. Patty’s day of all days. After a few days of slightly improving, and getting an appetite, I decided to use some of the corned beef hash I had made on Sunday, and turn it into a brunch item.

I had big ideas to make things throughout the week, however the pneumonia has just brought be down for the count, but I was lucky enough to at least get this one in. Hopefully next week I will be in much better shape. This is my take on corned beef hash quesadillas, and wow did they ever turn out great.

Corned Beef Hash Quesadilla

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the Corned Beef Hash:

  • 1 Idaho potato, peeled, and cubed, and cooked until softened
  • 2 cups of cooked corned beef, sliced and diced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Ingredients for the quesadilla:

  • 4 flour tortillas, standard size
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • Cooked corned beef hash, warmed
  • 2 tbsp Thousand Island Dressing
  • 1 tbsp horseradish sauce

To make the corned beef hash, add the butter to a large non-stick skillet, or use your cast iron if you so desire. Once melted, add in the potatoes, corned beef, garlic, and shallots.  Get a nice golden color on those potatoes and onions. Season with the worchestershire sauce, a bit of salt and pepper. Give a taste and season to your liking. Set aside.

Start by heating up a skillet on medium-low heat. Add two tortillas to the skillet, stacked on top of one another. Top with two slices of the swiss cheese, then the cheddar jack cheese.

Top with the cooked corned beef hash, as much to your liking, top with the the remaining two slices of Swiss cheese, then the other two tortillas.

How to make corned beef hash quesadillas

You are probably thinking, why double up on the tortillas, right? Well, in my opinion, the single tortilla does not hold up to the corned beef hash, that’s all.

Make the sauce by adding the thousand island and horseradish sauce together. Mix into a small bowl, and set aside.

Carefully look under the bottom tortilla and look for a golden brown. Once golden, carefully flip, and cook the other side until golden.

Slice, and serve with the dipping sauce.

I can’t say enough how awesome this corned beef hash quesadilla was, not only that but a little dunk in the sauce just blew my mind (and opened my airway a bit, of which I needed). If it were me, I would be serving this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was extremely satisfying, and lifted my spirit, and appetite. Just what I needed during this time of illness. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Tostadas

I frequent a local Mexican restaurant about once a week, and it is typically the same one every time. They know me so well, almost like Norm Peterson in Cheers, whereas as soon as I find a place to sit, I am delivered my usual horchata, and on occasion they simply bring me my usual plate of three tacos al pastor without me even ordering. Yes, it’s that good. I do on occasion want to see a menu however, only to tempt my taste buds with something other than the tacos. But, man, I love tacos. There are two things on their menu that is a bit pricey and that is the tostada and their enchiladas. I also love a great tostada and as I know they are super easy to make, they can also be a bit messy should the tostada fall apart on you, mid bite. That’s why I make these at home, and I think you should as well.

Chicken Tostadas Recipe

There are some great things about chicken tostadas, not only are they open faced tacos, but there is one thing that shines on the tostada and that is refried beans. My wife, who doesn’t care for refried beans for the most part, will definitely take on the tostadas loaded with refried beans, so that is saying something.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Tostada shells
  • Refried beans, cooked and hot
  • Lettuce of your choice, finely chopped
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Avocado, sliced (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cooked and shredded
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Red onion, diced (optional)
  • Mexican Crema (optional)
  • Lime wedges (optional)
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • Serrano chili, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Your favorite hot sauce (optional)

This recipe is really quick and easy to make, and it great for make as an appetizer, or as a meal.

Once the chicken is pulled apart, add it so a large skillet and add in the taco seasoning and water. Bring to a simmer after mixing the chicken with the seasoning. Cover, remove from the heat and set it aside.

Preheat your oven to 320 degrees. In the meantime, warm your beans until warmed through. Have all of your ingredients ready. I like to prepare these family style, allowing the table to build their tostada.  Heat your tostadas for about 4-6 minutes.

How to make a Chicken Tostadas

Once the tostadas are warmed through, remove them from the oven and place onto a serving dish. Add the chicken to a serving bowl.

Chicken Tostadas Recipe

To serve, cover the tostada with a generous layer  of refried beans. Doing so allows the rest of the ingredients to ‘stick’ together, so the beans basically serve as your glue for this dish. Top the chicken, then lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, cheese, and chilies. Drizzle with the crema, hot sauce and a bit of lime juice.  Pick up the tostada with both hands and bite on in. To me, this is a perfect bite. It’s similar to what you might expect within a Mexican torta, however delivered on a crispy tostada shell.  Let’s just say these are not only easy to make, but they are super delicious and everyone at the table devoured them. That’s always saying something. I hope you enjoy.

Chicken Tostadas
Author: 
Recipe type: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • Tostada shells
  • Refried beans, cooked and hot
  • Lettuce of your choice, finely chopped
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Avocado, sliced (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cooked and shredded
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup of water
  • Red onion, diced (optional)
  • Mexican Crema (optional)
  • Lime wedges (optional)
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded/li>
  • Serrano chili, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Your favorite hot sauce (optional)
Instructions
  1. This recipe is really quick and easy to make, and it great for make as an appetizer, or as a meal.
  2. Once the chicken is pulled apart, add it so a large skillet and add in the taco seasoning and water. Bring to a simmer after mixing the chicken with the seasoning. Cover, remove from the heat and set it aside.
  3. Preheat your oven to 320 degrees. In the meantime, warm your beans until warmed through. Have all of your ingredients ready. I like to prepare these family style, allowing the table to build their tostada. Heat your tostadas for about 4-6 minutes.
  4. Once the tostadas are warmed through, remove them from the oven and place onto a serving dish. Add the chicken to a serving bowl.
  5. To serve, cover the tostada with a generous layer of refried beans. Doing so allows the rest of the ingredients to 'stick' together, so the beans basically serve as your glue for this dish. Top the chicken, then lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, cheese, and chilies. Drizzle with the crema, hot sauce and a bit of lime juice. Pick up the tostada with both hands and bite on in. To me, this is a perfect bite. It's similar to what you might expect within a Mexican torta, however delivered on a crispy tostada shell. Let's just say these are not only easy to make, but they are super delicious and everyone at the table devoured them. That's always saying something. I hope you enjoy.

 

Slow Cooker Filipino Pork Adobo

Filipino food is underrated in my opinion. Granted, I’ve only skimmed the surface when it comes to eating legitimate Filipino food, but from what I have had, it is super tasty, well balanced, and extremely comforting. Everything from tinola, arroz caldo, mock sisig, torta, afritada, pancit canton, and bihon, plus who could forget lumpia, and the infamous pork barbecue.  Again, I am only skimming the surface, but there is one dish, in my opinion, that showcases the flavors of the Philippines, which results in sweet, sour, salty, and spicy, and that is adobo.

Adobo is basically the Filipino sauce and cooking process that typically consists of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, meat, and onions that are slowly cooked in the sauce until it is super tender.  As I have made chicken adobo in the past, I wanted to try making a pork should, and cook it, while I was working, in a slow cooker. The results were nothing short of amazing.

Filipino Pork Adobo Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb pork shoulder, bone-in
  • 1 whole onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, smashed
  • 1/4 white whine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 whole Thai chili, smashed
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Your favorite Fried Rice

Add everything but the pork and fried rice to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir to dissolve the brown sugar.

Add the pork shoulder, fat side up to your slow cooker. Pour the mixture over the pork shoulder, cover, and cook for 7 hours.  After 7 hours, remove the pork shoulder and place onto a large cutting board.

filipino-pork-adobo-ingredients

Remove and discard the bone, and any additional fat. Cut the remaining pork into large cubes, then add the pork back into the slow cooker. Give a nice stir to cover with the sauce, garlic, and onions. Turn the slow cooker to high and continue cook for an additional hour before shredding with a couple of forks.

pork-adobo2

When you are ready to serve, plate the slow cooker Filipino pork adobo onto your plate, as well as a serving of your favorite fried rice. Garnish with an additional Thai chili pepper and some lemon wedges.

Your going to love this pork adobo. It is not only super tender and aromatic, but it has the most wonderful flavors. If you are looking to explore Filipino cuisine, start with this one. It’s not only easy, but it is super delicious. I served the leftovers as another serving, as well as wrapped up the pork adobo in warm, soft tortillas. I hope you enjoy.

Slow Cooker Filipino Pork Adobo
Author: 
Cuisine: Filipino
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lb pork shoulder, bone-in
  • 1 whole onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ inch of ginger, smashed
  • ¼ white whine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 whole Thai chili, smashed
  • ½ cup of water
  • Your favorite Fried Rice
Instructions
  1. Add everything but the pork and fried rice to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir to dissolve the brown sugar.
  2. Add the pork shoulder, fat side up to your slow cooker. Pour the mixture over the pork shoulder, cover, and cook for 7 hours. After 7 hours, remove the pork shoulder and place onto a large cutting board.
  3. Remove and discard the bone, and any additional fat. Cut the remaining pork into large cubes, then add the pork back into the slow cooker. Give a nice stir to cover with the sauce, garlic, and onions. Turn the slow cooker to high and continue cook for an additional hour before shredding with a couple of forks.
  4. When you are ready to serve, plate the slow cooker Filipino pork adobo onto your plate, as well as a serving of your favorite fried rice. Garnish with an additional Thai chili pepper and some lemon wedges.
  5. Your going to love this pork adobo. It is not only super tender and aromatic, but it has the most wonderful flavors. If you are looking to explore Filipino cuisine, start with this one. It’s not only easy, but it is super delicious. I hope you enjoy.

 

Italian Beef Lasagna with Giardiniera

My daughter recently had her first communion, and I cannot tell you how excited she was about it. My wife and daughter planned for weeks for the event, and that left me with planning the food and drink for the post communion party. I thought of many things to make, but then decided I would prepare Italian beef a couple of days ahead of time, then use the slow cooker to get it super tender and ready for sandwiches. Let me just say the sandwiches were super delicious, especially on great Italian sub rolls. So as I had made a nice salad, along with homemade breads, and dips, I also made a batch of homemade giardiniera to go along with the Italian beef. As the party ended, I was left with a bunch of the Italian beef, and giardiniera. I was set out to use those leftovers and create something new. Here comes the Italian beef lasagna with a giardiniera topping.

Italian Beef Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna in itself is nothing short of amazing, we all know that. But when you throw in some super tender Italian beef, and balance the texture with some nice, crunchy, and spicy giardiniera, well, you have yourself a winner.

Ingredients for the Italian Beef:

  • 2 or more pounds of beef sirloin tip, rested for about 20 minutes at room temperature
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups of water

Ingredients for Homemade Giardiniera (Make a few days in advance):

Ingredients: (Step One)

  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, small florets
  • 6 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 Thai chilies, whole
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 small to medium sized yellow onion, diced
  • 4 radishes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup of kosher salt
  • cold water to cover

To a large bowl, add in all of the above ingredients, covering with water, and making sure to dissolve as much as the salt into the water. Cover, place in the refrigerator and let sit overnight.

The following day, drain and thoroughly rinse the vegetable medley.

Ingredients (Step Two)

  • 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp course black pepper
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Begin by adding vinegar to a small pot, and add the sugar to that. Bring to a boil and let cook at a steady boil for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

When the vinegar is completely cooled, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add this to your vegetables, and mix well. Add to your canning jars, and let sit for at least 2-3 days before serving.

Ingredients for the Lasagna:

  • 12 sheets of your favorite lasagna noodles, good just before al dente
  • 32 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups of the cooked Italian beef, rough chop
  • 15 oz part skim Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dry oregano, crushed between your fingers
  • 1 tbsp dry basil
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella and Provolone cheese

Start by making the sauce. To a large sauce pan, add in the tomato sauce, salt, garlic, pepper, and chili flakes.

Add the Italian beef to the sauce, and give that a good stir. Cover and cook on low for one hour. Towards the end of the cooking process of the sauce, toss in the basil, and give a stir.

While the sauce cooks, cook the noodles as directed on the box, however cook just before al dente. Strain and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, make the ricotta filling. To a mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese, the egg, parsley, oregano, dry basil, and half of the parmesan cheese. Give that a good stir.

Now the fun stuff, the layering. On the bottom of a lasagna pan, add a nice big ladle of the sauce. Lift and move the sauce on the bottom of the pan to make a nice, even and light coating.

Add your noodles to cover the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping each sheet.

Spread a nice, light coating of the ricotta cheese.

Sprinkle some of the cheese on top.

Cover with more of the sauce.

Repeat with the lasagna sheets.

Add more ricotta, and add more shredded cheese.

Add more sauce.

Add more pasta sheets.

Add more ricotta cheese.

Add more sauce.

Top with the remaining shredded cheese to completely cover the top. Add some more grated parmesan cheese.

Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with a bit of cooking spray.

Preheat the oven for 350 degrees and cook, covered (cooking spray down on cheese side) for roughly 45-60 minutes. Once you are near done, remove the cover and either place under the broiler for a couple of minutes to get the top layer of cheese nice and bubbly, or continue to cook in the oven, uncovered at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes.

When the lasagna is finished cooking, remove it from the oven, and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Trust me, it will still be really hot, however the resting allows everything to come together instead of falling apart when you cut into it. Waiting is the tough part, trust me.

Once you are ready, cut a nice big square, and top with a nice dallop of the spicy giardiniera.

At first bite you get everything you expect and want in a lasagna, but then comes that super tender Italian beef, along with the giardiniera that is the perfect pairing as it cuts through some of that richness.

I know it sounds like a lot, but again, this was a perfect recipe to use up the traditional Italian beef and giardiniera. Hope you enjoy.