About cosmoswithinus

Atheist, junglist, passionate cook, massive geek, runner, hunter, outdoorswoman.

Sheet Pan Nachos

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3822E42B-A7DC-4A76-BCF9-8EB64282CD00Sheet Pan Nachos

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 8 oz. Mexican-style chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon New Mexican chile powder
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 oz. Hatch chiles (or sub canned diced green chiles)
  • 12 oz. thick, sturdy tortilla chips (I highly recommend El Milagro brand if you can find them)
  • 8 oz. Mexican blend cheese
  • For serving: diced tomatoes, diced red onion, jarred jalapeños, minced cilantro, sour cream, diced avocado, salsa, hot sauce

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the beef, chorizo, and onion. Cook, breaking up the beef and chorizo into small bits with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft and the meats are no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, beans, and chiles and stir until well combined. Remove from heat.

Pour the tortilla chips onto a large sheet pan. Spoon the meat and bean mixture on top of the chips. Cover with cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is crispy. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

NOTES

Does this really need any notes? Besides *thud* and *drool*?

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One Pot Cajun Chicken, Sausage, and Rice

IMG_3292.JPGOne Pot Cajun Chicken, Sausage, and Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, divided (I make my own, recipe shown here)
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs
  • 14 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional, for serving: minced fresh parsley, chopped scallions, Louisiana hot sauce

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon oil with 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss in chicken and use your hands to slather the mix all over the meat.

Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes or until well browned, then flip over and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Add the sausage to the pan and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes; remove to a plate.

Add the garlic, onion, celery, and bell pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Reduce heat to medium, then add the rice and stir to coat. Add the chicken stock, salt, and remaining tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine.

Place sausage and chicken (skin side up) back in the skillet on top of the rice. Bring to simmer, then turn off the stove. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and place into the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and take off the lid/foil. Return the skillet to the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until only small puddles of liquid remain on the surface of the rice. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered, so that any remaining liquid evaporates.

Serve with toppings, as desired.

NOTES

I must give credit for this dish to 1) Steve for seeing a recipe for one pot chicken and rice on Facebook and sending it to me for a meal idea; 2) The Chunky Chef for inspiring me to use the same method here as I do for my One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice; and 3) Nagi at Recipetin Eats for coming up with such an awesome foolproof method in the first place.

With that out of the way…

THIS DISH YOU GUYS. OHMYGOD. No words. This ended up being one of the best things I have EVER made. So damn good and easy to boot. I cannot wait to have it again.

Peach Pecan Bread

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Peach Pecan Bread
slightly adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups finely diced peeled peaches
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in water and vanilla extract. Stir in peaches. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder and whisk to remove lumps; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in pecans.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

NOTES

This was fantastic! Great for dessert or with morning coffee. I love quick breads, but never thought to make one with peaches until I was hunting for ways to use up an entire box. So glad I came across this recipe. Definitely one for the long-term repertoire.

Hawaiian Pork Burgers

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Hawaiian Pork Burgers
slightly adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1/3 cup minced green onion
  • 4 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 large pineapple rings, fresh or canned
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (plus more for serving, if desired, see notes)
  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 large lettuce leaves (use leafy lettuce)
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced ham

Method

Mix the ground pork, green onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and pepper together in a large bowl until just combined. Gently form 4 equal patties, with a slight indentation in the middle.

Prepare your grill for medium high, direct heat. Scrape down the grill grates and coat with vegetable oil. Place the pork patties on the hot grill and paint the top with barbecue sauce. Cover the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip the burgers and paint with more barbecue sauce.

After you’ve flipped the burgers, lay the pineapple rings down on a hot part of the grill. Cook the burgers for another 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked through.

Cook the pineapple rings for 3-5 minutes, or until you have nice grill marks on one side. Flip the pineapple and grill another 1-2 minutes.

Remove the pineapple and burgers from the grill and let them rest 5 minutes.

While the meat is resting, toast the burger buns on the hot grill until the edges brown nicely, about 1-2 minutes.

To construct the burger, lay some lettuce on the bun, add the burger patty and paint with a little more barbecue sauce. Top with the ham, then the pineapple, then the other bun.

Serve immediately.

NOTES

These are phenomenal. The combination of the seasoned pork, ham, pineapple, and barbecue sauce works amazingly well. As for sauce/dipping, Steve prefers more barbecue sauce at the table, but I actually loved the addition of – surprise – sriracha! I lay it on pretty thick, too, and the tangy, zingy heat blends perfectly with the other flavors. You could also add mayo/spicy mayo. Whatever floats your boat!

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

IMG_1118Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
with thanks to Alton Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 cup panko, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan, divided
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 jar (or 2-1/2 cups homemade) marinara sauce
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Method

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together 1/2 cup of the panko with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup panko, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, chicken, egg, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, and salt in a large bowl. Gently combine using your hands until just incorporated.

Divide the meatball mixture into 30 golf ball sized rounds and roll them in the panko/Parmesan mixture.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch oven safe skillet. Brown the meatballs in the oil, about 30 seconds on each side, working in batches if needed to avoid crowding the pan.

Add the meatballs back to the pan, along with the marinara, cover with the grated mozzarella and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes, and the cheese is melted. Serve over cooked pasta or on top of crispy bread.

Chicken Tikka Masala

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IMG_0541Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from RecipeTin Eats 

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large (about 2-inch) chunks
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons each salt, garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cooking Chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed

Curry Sauce Spices:

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Method

Chicken Tikka:

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and mix. Add chicken and turn well to coat. Cover with cling wrap and leave in fridge to marinate overnight (3 hours minimum).

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick pan over high heat until smoking. Add half the chicken and spread out. Leave for 2 minutes or until charred. Turn each piece and cook the other side until charred (don’t worry if it is not fully cooked inside). Remove to bowl. Scrape out charred bits left in pan, add more oil if required, and cook remaining chicken. Remove to bowl.

Curry Sauce:

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and turn heat down to medium high. Add onions, ginger, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the ginger is starting to turn golden and the onions smell sweet, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the Curry Sauce Spices, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce and water and mix. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour curry into a bowl, then use a stick blender to puree until smooth (or use a traditional blender). Return sauce to skillet. Add half and half and sugar. Add reserved chicken and stir. Simmer for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Garnish with minced cilantro, if desired. Serve with rice and/or naan.

NOTES

So, here’s the thing. I already have a recipe on this site for chicken tikka masala. I’ve made it probably a couple dozen times over the years, many times for guests and family, and everyone loves it. Everyone except me and Steve, that is. I mean, it’s good! But it never wowed us and in recent years we have much preferred my butter chicken or cashew korma.

Until now. Holy crap, this dish is AMAZING. I revised the original recipe in some significant ways, if only to make it fully a tikka masala rather than a cross between tikka masala and butter chicken, but I left the method of searing/charring and the spice and aromatics levels the same. I think both of those things were key because the end result has a crazy intense depth of flavor and a lovely heat, just as it should. I will not take my old recipe down, but no way am I going back to it after this!

Hoisin Pork and Cashew Stir Fry

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Hoisin Pork and Cashew Stir Fry
adapted from Belly Full

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 28 ounces pork shoulder (or pork loin), sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, julienned (or about a cup of bagged shredded carrots)
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (about 3 oz.) roasted cashews
  • salt and pepper

Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 10 ingredients. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil over medium-high in a wok or large nonstick skillet; swirl to coat. Add the pork and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the sauce, carrot, scallions, and cashews. Bring to a simmer to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Taste; season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve mixture over rice or noodles.

NOTES

The original of this recipe was outstanding as it was, but the second time, I very slightly adjusted certain ingredient amounts to perfectly suit our tastes. I also used pork shoulder rather than the loin because I almost always have sliced or cubed pork shoulder portioned away in the freezer.

Bottom line: this is our new favorite stir fry. The pork and cashews together make it incredibly meaty and hearty and the spicy, savory, sweet sauce just brings it all together. This one is definitely going into long-term rotation.