Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bison Chili

We went to Costco the other day and decided to buy some Bison. It weirdly comes in a quantity of 1 1/3 lb in each pack. After buying said bison we had absolutely no time to cook it. I froze half the pack and kept the other 1 1/3lb out. Eventually, we decided to make chili. We got the ingredients and then proceeded to have no time to make the chili.  Finally, Joey made it one day after work. This chili only simmered for about 40 minutes but we have plenty of leftovers. We think there are about 10 servings in this batch of chili and bonus, just 310 calories!  You can totally layer on the cheese & fritos with those numbers!

1 1/3lb bison
1 14.5oz can pinto beans
1 14.5oz can chopped tomatoes
1 28oz can whole peeled or crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion, 1 inch dice
1 bell pepper, 1 inch dice
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic smashed and diced or pressed
1/2 t salt
a few grinds of pepper
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t ancho chili powder
1 1/2 t chipotle chili powder
1 T oil

1. In a large pot, heat oil. Add peppers, onion and bison. Let soften and become fragrant. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
2. If you used whole tomatoes, crush them.
3. Add all ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially and then cook for at least an hour.
4. Serve with cheddar cheese on top!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Homemade Chicken Stock turned Chicken Soup

AA couple of weeks ago my friends from work came over bearing roast chicken and pasta.  We froze the carcasses for stock assuming we would never consider making such a thing. Then all of a sudden we decided to actually try it! We have been spending lots of time at home so it kind of made sense. The soup was good so I think that is all due to the great stock, however, it's a lot of time for not too much output. If you go down this path...well you can still make soup with canned broth.

Chicken Stock:
Did not make enough for soup but, then again I didn't add more water when it burned off because honestly I wasn't anywhere near the pot of stock while it was simmering for the entire 4 hours.

2 chicken carcasses
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 T peppercorns
3 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 T olive oil
Enough water to cover the chickens

1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the carrots, celery onion and garlic and cook about 8 minutes until softened and fragrant
2. Add chicken carcasses, peppercorns and thyme. Add water to cover the chickens.
3. Bring to a boil, skim off foam (may be gray), reduce heat to a simmer, cover. Simmer 4 hours+.
Supposedly you should stir every so often and also add more water when it boils off. I didn't do that so the output was small.
4. Strain stock into another pan or containers. Use right away or freeze for 3 months.

Chicken and Barley Soup:
This soup was pretty good, these quantities served 4 people along with salad and biscuits with a tiny bit leftover that could be boosted with some chicken broth for another serving.

6 carrots, chopped in bite-sized pieces
6 celery ribs, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1/2 large onion, ""
6 sprigs thyme + 3 sprigs fresh oregano tied in a bundle
3 boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1 can chicken broth + all the stock you made
1 C barley (before preparation, this was actually a lot of barley so you could make less)

1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the barley. Don't worry, the chicken WILl cook.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover partially, simmer for one hour
3. In another small pot make barely according to package directions
4. Just before serving, add the barley to the soup. If you make the barley in the soup it will soak up all your hard work liquid.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Pancake Bars

For over a week I have been wanting to make these pancake bars I saw on the Kitchn website. I thought it would be quite handy to have a grab and go breakfast. And yet all week the time to make these morsels alluded me.

Finally, today as I was whipping up some homemade chicken stock and found myself with a baby-holder I was able to make these. These take no time at all to pull together but they do take a while to bake.  The recipe said 12-15 minutes but this took 25 for me. Perhaps it was the dark pan or my overly runny batter but it was sort of a long wait when we were hungry and waiting--so plan ahead!

These are good cold but I bet they'd be great heated up too.

I revised the recipe so that the main batter had some more flavor but don't skip the streusel topping, it makes it.

For the Bars:
2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
dash of ginger
3 T sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 3/4 cups whole milk (this seemed like too much)
1 t vanilla
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 apple, diced into 1/2" pieces (or bigger depending on how chunky you want)
2 C granola (I used Bare Naked Maple Pecan, you can't really taste it though)

For the Topping: (consider making a double recipe of the topping!)
1/4 C flour
1/4 C brown sugar, firmly packed
3 T butter, melted
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg

1. Mix all the dry ingredients through sugar in a large bowl.  Add eggs, milk and butter and mix until just combined. Add apple and granola and mix until just covered.  The batter for me was really runny with chunks in it but it still worked out!
2. Prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying with cooking spray. Add a layer of parchment, spray again. Pour prepared batter into the pan. Then heat the oven to 400 degrees and let the batter rest.
3. Make the topping by stirring it all together, it will be thick. Spatter the topping all over the bars. Bale 20-25 minutes until the bars are cooked through and are springy to touch.  Remove from pan, let rest on a wire rack and serve.  I cut these into small bars.