About cosmoswithinus

Passionate cook, junglist, massive geek, runner, hunter, outdoorswoman.

Easy Curry Beef Bowls

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Easy Curry Beef Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups stock or water
  • 1 cup peas

Method

Add the ground beef to a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook, breaking into chunks with a wooden spoon, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove beef to a bowl (leave any fat in the pan) and set aside. Add onions and saute 3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds.

Add potatoes, carrots, spices, and sugar and stir to combine. Stir in stock (or water). Bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, until potatoes are about halfway done.

Add the ground beef back to the pan, and cook uncovered another 2-3 minutes, until potatoes are done and the sauce has thickened. Stir in peas and cook for another minute, until heated through.

Serve over cooked basmati rice.

NOTES

I must say when I tagged this post as both “beef” and “Indian,” it felt oh so wrong. So please feel free to make this with ground turkey or lamb or chicken or venison or whatever you like. The point here is not the recipe, but the recipe idea: a quick, healthy, easy, deeply flavorful Indian-spiced one-pot dish. I imagine I will do plenty of variations of this over the years because the meat and vegetables can probably all be substituted while the concept remains the same. I love these kinds of meals. Big thanks to Woks of Life for the inspiration.

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Thai Red Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

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Thai Red Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 4-oz. can red curry paste (I use Maesri brand)
  • 1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 14-oz. can full fat coconut milk
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 8 oz. small brown or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb vermicelli rice noodles (banh pho)
  • Optional garnish: sliced red onion, sliced chiles, cilantro, scallions

Method

Heat the curry paste in a large pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes. Add the lime leaves, palm sugar, fish sauce, coconut milk, and chicken stock and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add bell pepper, carrot, and mushrooms. Cover and let simmer for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the noodles to the broth during the last minute of cook time; they will soften within a few minutes.

Serve in large bowls, with desired garnish.

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NOTES

I love this. I got the idea from this post from Woks of Life but instead of following theirs, I very slightly tweaked my Thai Red Curry Chicken recipe to be a noodle soup. So delicious and even quicker than a standard curry since I don’t have to make rice on the side. Definitely going into rotation long-term.

Thai Cashew Chicken

IMG_3305IMG_3300IMG_4663Thai Cashew Chicken
adapted from Eating Thai Food

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1-1/2 lbs. chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons stock or water

For the stir fry

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 2/3 cup dry Thai birds eye red chilies (see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 large cloves)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 large banana chili peppers, cut in thin strips (see Notes)
  • 4 scallions, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces

Method

Mix the chicken with flour to evenly coat.

Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium high heat. Fry the raw cashew nuts in the hot oil for about 30 seconds, until golden brown; scoop out and set aside. In the same oil, fry the Thai dry chilies for about 1 minute until crispy; remove and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken and fry for about 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove and set aside.

Add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the garlic and stir fry for a few seconds, then add the onion wedges and stir fry until translucent. Add the bell pepper and banana pepper and stir fry for a minute or so. Add a bit of water in the wok if it gets dry. Add the seasoning sauce mixture and stir fry until the sauce thickens and become sticky.

Add the chicken, cashew nuts, and dry chiles and stir fry until everything is coated. Add the scallions, stir fry for only a few seconds, then turn off the heat. Serve with hot steamed rice.

NOTES

Until a couple of months ago, I never even knew there was such a thing as Thai Cashew Chicken. I WAS MISSING OUT. This is the perfect blend of Thai savory, spicy, slightly sweet flavors that I love so much. I seriously cannot stop making it.

Interesting note: I will forever be indebted to the original recipe writer here for instructing me to fry the dried chiles as one of the first steps for this dish. The depth of flavor that it adds is unbelievable – earthy, smoky, spicy – and, even more significantly, I now understand that those flavors are meant to be imparted from the fried chiles to the overall dish (which is why you don’t eat the dried chiles in the finished dish; they’ve already done their job!). I will henceforth be doing this with my other Asian recipes that involve dried chiles (e.g., my Kung Pao Chicken and Kung Pao Ground Chicken), which, up until now, have always been missing any flavor from the peppers. But I get it now!

Notes on ingredients: you can substitute chiles de arbol for the dry Thai birds eye chiles and substitute another bell pepper for the banana peppers, although the dish will not be quite as spicy (you can always add crushed red chile flakes at the table).

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*?

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!