Tag Archives: chili

Bacon Jalapeño Scones

Bacon Jalapeno Scones 4

Scones don’t have to just be a dessert food. Scone dough is perfectly suited to add savory ingredients and served for breakfast or brunch. Or as an accompaniment to soup, stew, or chili for dinner. These scones are stuffed full of bacon, green onions, gruyere and Parmesan cheeses, and chopped jalapenos.

I only used one jalapeño this time, which was hardly noticeable. Next time I will use 2-3. Heat levels of jalapeños vary widely, however, so it is wise to taste a small piece before committing to adding 3 full jalapeños.

You can eat these plain, slathered with butter or Clotted Cream, or topped with jam. I served them with a homemade sweet & spicy Mango Jalapeño Jam.

Bacon Jalapeno Scones 5

To form the scones, transfer your dough to a well-floured surface and use your hands to shape dough into an 8” round disc about 3/4-inch thick.

Bacon Jalapeno Scones 1

Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 wedges. This recipe makes 16 scones. Don’t make one large circle and cut into 16 pieces. Instead, divide dough in half and make 8 from each round.

Bacon Jalapeno Scones 2

An important factor in getting light, airy scones is not working the dough more than necessary. An easy and effective way to cut your butter into the dry ingredients is to use a cheese grater to shred frozen butter into your dry ingredients and then mix only briefly. You want there to still be strands of visible butter. That is what will create the air pockets and layers in your scones.

Tip for adding butter: This recipe calls for 8 Tbs (1 stick) of butter. Freeze TWO  sticks, then take a pen and mark around the 4 Tbs line on each stick. (It is hard to grate slippery butter all the way down to the end of the stick without grating your fingers ) Fold back the paper on the sticks of butter to the line you’ve drawn.  Holding the paper-covered end of the butter, grate the butter directly into your dry ingredients (briefly stir occasionally so that you don’t have a big pile of butter in one spot). Stop grating when you get to the line where you’ve folded back your butter paper. I usually use the larger of the two grating hole sizes on the grater.

You can also grate butter that is just refrigerated, not frozen, but it will hold it’s consistency longer if you freeze it for about 30 minutes first.

Bacon Jalapeno Scones 3

RECIPE:

Bacon Jalapeño Scones

Bacon Jalapeno Scones 4

2 ½ cups flour
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter (freeze TWO sticks for 30 mins for easier grating)
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten lightly
½ cup chopped crisply-cooked bacon
¼ cup chopped green onion
2-3 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan

Egg wash: 1 egg, beaten + 2 Tbs heavy cream

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture to form coarse crumbs. Tip for adding butter: Freeze TWO sticks of butter, then take a pen and mark around the 4 Tbs line on each stick. (It is hard to grate slippery butter all the way down to the end of the stick without grating your fingers ) Fold back the paper on the sticks of butter to the line you’ve drawn.  Holding the paper-covered end of the butter, grate the butter directly into your dry ingredients (briefly stir occasionally so that you don’t have a big pile of butter in one spot). Stop grating when you get to the line where you’ve folded back your butter paper. I usually use the larger of the two grating hole sizes on the grater.

Mix together the buttermilk and the beaten eggs. Make a well in the center of the  flour mixture and stir in milk just until moistened.

In a small bowl, stir together the cooked bacon, green onions, jalapeños, and grated cheeses. Mix gently into the scone dough.

On a floured surface, knead dough lightly until evenly mixed. Divide the dough in half. Pat each dough half into an 8-inch round about 3/4 inch thick. Cut each circle into 8 wedges.

Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Place dough wedges on prepared sheets and place in freezer for 30 minutes to chill.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove scones from freezer and brush lightly with egg wash. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Serve plain or with butter, Clotted Cream, or Mango Jalapeño Jam.

Yield: 16 scones

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**TO FREEZE SCONES TO SERVE AT A LATER TIME:

Scones can be frozen either before or after baking.

To freeze before baking: Prepare scone dough. Cut scones and place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. DO NOT brush with egg wash. Freeze until firm. Place into Ziploc bag or freezer container and store in freezer. Place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush tops of scones with egg wash. Bake at 400°F for 18-20 minutes.

To freeze after baking: Prepare and bake scones. Cool completely and place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Freeze until firm. Place into Ziploc bag or freezer container and store in freezer. Place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake at 300°F for 10-12 minutes.

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Filed under Appetizers, Breads, Breakfast/Brunch

Spicy Sausage Chili

Sausage Chili 3

The air is getting cooler, and chili cook-offs are in the air!

Here is a great option for a spicy (but not too spicy) chili that is full of meat. I use chorizo sausage, ground beef and bacon in this recipe. I like to keep the chorizo in larger chunks, so that you can really taste the sausage.

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce also give this chili a great smoky flavor.

Sausage Chili 1

I may, however, have made an enemy in my new neighborhood, by edging out the 5-time reigning chili cook-off winner. I hope not, as she is a very sweet woman. Stay tuned for a recipe from the other bake-off winner in our family, Little J!

RECIPE:

Spicy Sausage Chili

Sausage Chili 3

2 lb chorizo sausage, broken into medium chunks
1 lb bacon, chopped
1 lb ground beef
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 red or yellow peppers, diced
1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped
4 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1-2 Tbs adobo sauce from chipotle pepper can
1-2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1-2 cans pinto beans, drained & rinsed
3 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs Ancho chili pepper
1 tsp chipotle chili powder, optional
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs cocoa powder
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
Optional Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped red or green onions

Cook sausage and bacon until browned; drain excess fat. Add ground beef to pan and cook until browned. Stir in onions, garlic and peppers and cook until vegetables are softened. Place meat and vegetables in a large crock pot (6-7 quarts). Add the remaining ingredients (except toppings) to the crock pot and stir. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Taste after about 4-6 hours. Add additional salt or more heat (chili pepper), if desired. Serve with desired toppings.

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Hearty Beef Chili

092810 018-1This is my standard go-to chili recipe. Thick and hearty. Full of roasted vegetables, ground beef and sausage (chorizo is my favorite), and two kinds of beans in a thick, spicy sauce. No runny broth-that is soup, not chili.

I know that a true Texas chili does not have any beans, but while I love the flavor of a good Texas chili, I also love beans. I love the taste, the contrasting texture they give to chili, and the fact that beans are so good for you! So while my chili may not be approved of by hard core Texans, I will continue to put beans in.

Chili is a great crock pot meal, and tastes even better the second day.

You can make this chili the “fast” way or the “it takes a little longer but is so worth it” way. The difference is: to roast or not roast the veges (onions, peppers, garlic). I have definitely made my share of chili the fast way, but I do prefer the additional flavor you get by roasting the vegetables before adding them to the chili. To roast the onions, garlic and peppers: peel onions and cut in half. Cut larger peppers in half and remove seeds. Smaller peppers, like jalapenos can be left whole. You can roast a whole head of garlic, or roast individual cloves (this will be faster). Place onions, garlic and peppers on a foil-lined roasting pan. Brush with olive oil. Roast at 475°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until veges begin to blacken. See How To Roast Peppers or How To Roast Garlic for quick tutorials.

Top your chili with shredded cheese, sour cream or chopped raw onions (red onions or scallions are great). And make lots: chili freezes wonderfully for another meal another day.

RECIPE:

092810 018-1
Hearty Beef Chili

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo or hot Italian sausage
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 onions
1 red pepper
1 large banana pepper
2 jalapenos, (use seeds for a spicier chili)
2 cloves garlic
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (or 1 tsp chipotle chili powder)
1 Tbs adobo sauce from chipotle pepper can
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
3 cans (14 oz) diced or crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
3 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried basil (or 2 Tbs fresh)
1 Tbs chili paste
1 Tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Tomato paste, if needed
Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped raw onions (red onions or green onions)

Cook ground beef and sausage until browned. Drain and place in a crock pot with the cooked bacon. If desired, roast the onions, red pepper, banana pepper, jalapenos and garlic (Brush with olive oil and roast on a foil-lined baking sheet at 475°F for 15-20 minutes). Chop vegetables and add to the crock pot with the remaining ingredients (except tomato paste and toppings). Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Taste after about 4-6 hours. Add additional salt or more heat (more chili paste or crushed red peppers), if desired. Thicken with tomato paste if chili is too thin. Serve with desired toppings.

 

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Filed under Main Dishes, Soups/Stews/Curries

Prize-Winning Shredded Chicken & Black Bean Chili

Friday night  I came home with First Prize in a Chili Cook-Off!

DSC03130Okay, so it was only the annual church Halloween Trunk-or-Treat and Chili Cook-Off, and this was my big prize, but isn’t he cute!

I actually tried a new recipe, created on the fly that same day, so I am glad that it turned out edible!

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Earlier in the week I had cooked a bunch of chicken in my crock-pot for some enchiladas that I wanted to make. And if I’m going to go to the trouble to shred chicken, I’m going to shred A LOT of it. Freezer bags are my best friend! So I had lots of extra shredded chicken on hand. (This would also be a great meal for leftover chopped Thanksgiving turkey)

DSC02976Since I knew I was going to use the chicken in Mexican dishes,  I filled my crock pot with trimmed chicken breasts and poured on about one cup of salsa. Then turned it on low and forgot about it for the rest of the day.

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DSC02993Perfect shredded chicken by early afternoon!

I used several different kinds of hot peppers in this chili: jalapeno, hot banana peppers, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The jalapeno and banana peppers I roasted first. I love the flavor of chipotle peppers, but I never use a full can.

DSC03067So thanks to my friends the freezer bags, I have more on hand for another day.

Other than that, it is a standard tomato based chili recipe using chicken and black beans (plus some extra flavor items like chocolate, lime juice and cilantro!).

Hope you like it as well as the hungry trunk-or-treaters!

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Little J and Little A

Aren’t my little trunk-or-treaters cute!

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RECIPE:

DSC03098

Shredded Chicken & Black Bean Chili

2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2-3 assorted hot peppers, roasted and chopped
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 small can mild diced chilies (optional)
1 Tbs adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp cocoa powder (or 1 oz dark chocolate)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (use more or less as desired)
Juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 Tbs)
3-4 cups shredded chicken (or leftover chicken/turkey, chopped)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (use more if desired)

Shredded cheddar cheese, green onions  and/or sour cream for garnish (optional)

Place diced tomatoes in the bottom of a large (5-6 quart) crock-pot. If desired, use a potato masher to slightly mash tomatoes. Add remaining ingredients (except **chicken, cilantro and garnishes). Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Taste and adjust spices to desired heat. Stir in chicken. Cook an additional 30 minutes. If the chili is too thick, add a little water or chicken broth. Stir in cilantro just before serving. Garnish with cheese, chopped green onions and/or sour cream.

**NOTE: Since the chicken is pre-cooked, don’t cook it with the rest of the chili all day. It will make the chicken disintegrate into tiny shreds. Add the chicken at the end of the cooking time, and heat through.

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Filed under Main Dishes, Soups/Stews/Curries