Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake

On February 15, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a recipe from the kitchen. Sadly 2014 hasn’t been the year of focusing much on my blog as I planned. Perhaps this first post of 2014 will change that and get me back on track as there is so much going on as we are getting ready for the boys to turn 8 next week and I’ve been having fun trying some new dishes out too.

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This was a Pinterest find from my wife’s collection. There’s a wonderful simplicity in this dish and versatility. It could easily be made as a main course, like we did the past week, or used as a chip dip.  With loads of gooey cheese and vegetables mixed with quinoa and an enchilada sauce, the dish can be enjoyed several ways.

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Full Recipe: [Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake]

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Grilled Corn Asparagus Pasta with Brown Butter Breadcrumbs

On September 15, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Our family is moving closer to becoming vegetarian. For the past several years we have made it a point to eat 2 to 3 vegetarian dishes a week for dinner. The past year it’s been 4 or 5 dinners a week. Finding recipes that don’t use meat is not easy in a society that consumes so much of it.

When I find new vegetarian dishes that make me forget I’m not eating meat and thereby not missing it, it’s a good thing.

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This dish sounded a bit odd, but I had bought some corn this week and wasn’t sure what do with it until I saw this post from one of my fellow Sunday Supper bloggers, Paula at Vintage Kitchen Notes. The thought of anything other than a marinara sauce on spaghetti noodles just feels foreign, which is pretty funny considering how experimental I am with food. Also, the dish really doesn’t have a sauce, it uses the brown butter and breadcrumbs to coat the noodles. And what no Parmigiano-Reggiano?  Feta? Feta on spaghetti? Sacreligious.

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The dish does take some time, about 30-40 minutes. It is great for a quick weekend meal than a rushed after work meal.

The full recipe is below. I followed it with one exception. Stephanie doesn’t like jalapenos so I substituted red chili pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon.

Full Recipe: Charred Corn Asparagus Pasta with Brown Butter Breadcrumbs

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

On November 11, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love participating in the group #SundaySupper where over 50 fellow food bloggers get together every weekend to share our recipes with each other and anyone else on the web.

Last week’s Soul Warming theme netted a handful of recipes I couldn’t wait to try.  On top of that list was Hezzi-D’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.  The combination of jalapenos, cream cheese, bacon, and chicken sounded so good.

The recipe is quite simple and only takes about a hour to make start to finish.  My wife who wasn’t all too happy when she heard the title of the recipe ended up praising the meal once we sat down to eat.  It’s not as hot as it sounds, so feel free to up the chili powder another tablespoon if you prefer a spicy bowl of chili.

I served the dish with some oven cooked biscuits from Trader Joe’s. For dessert we had some individual pies – pecan and salted caramel apple – from the Studio City Farmers’ Market vendor Pi Bake Shop.

For the Recipe: Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili #SundaySupper

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Corn Chowder

On August 26, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s been awhile since I’ve spent some time on one of my favorite blogs: Emily Levenson. Perhaps it has a lot to do with all the change around here after leaving AT&T and Texas then getting our family settled here in Southern California, not that we are quite settled yet. I write this as we are about to get ready to go the beach instead of unpacking.

We did do some unpacking yesterday. It also gave me some time to do some cooking.

I love chowder, especially corn chowder, so when I saw Emily had a recipe for it that received some great comments.

Plus I had some sweet white corn and japanese sweet potatoes from the farmers market.

My version here looks less orange due to the white corn and lightly inside of the Japanese sweet potatoes. The flavor was really sweet and flavorful. I think next time though I’ll use a more traditional sweet potato which is not as sugary as the type I went with this time.

For the Full Recipe: Corn Chowder.

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For those who do not know, I also write a blog reviewing taco stands located at gas stations – gasstationtacos.com.  To support the blog, I also maintain the @GasStationTacos Twitter account where I get a few new followers each week. One follower I noticed had competed on American Idol Season 10 and also does a food blog.  I checked out the blog and noticed a few recipes worth trying.  This is the first recipe.

The original recipe is for Rotisserie Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Corn Salsa from the blog Sarah’s Musical Kitchen. I modified it a bit since I prefer tacos to tostadas and skipped the layer of salsa for a few drops of hot sauce. The hot sauce I used is Swat Sauce I picked up last December in Ferndale, Michigan at The Fly Trap restaurant.

Saturday morning I went to Coppell’s Farmers Market and bought some corn and flour tortillas from Two Chefs. This recipe put the fresh corn tortillas to good use, plus the easy avocado sauce (1 avocado, 1/2 cup sour cream and a dash of garlic powder) is such a brilliant idea I’m sure I’ll use for other recipes and would be amazing on a hamburger.

So go ahead and give this simple recipe a try.  My wife really enjoyed it and said it was better than anything she’s ever had at Urban Taco.

For the full recipe: Rotisserie Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Corn Salsa

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Vegetable Potpie

On January 16, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I now have to favorite must go places while in New York City. The first is Mario Batali’s Babbos. The second must stop is Candle Cafe, a vegan restaurant that is well-known in vegan and vegetarian circles.

My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and one of the top cookbooks was The Candle Cafe Cookbook (I already own Babbos’ cookbook.)

Tonight I made my first recipe, but made some modifications that took it from vegan to vegetarian, plus had to change out some vegetables. I also took a short cut that I’m sure led to a lesser potpie and went with a store bought Immaculate Baking Company pie crust.

I highly recommend you  buy The Candle Cafe Cookbook as it includes how to make this vegan and also includes a recipe for herbed pie crust that I’ll have to try when I have more time.

Vegetable Potpie

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium red potato, peeled and diced
2 small celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1/4 cup frozen sweet peas
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 rosemary sprig (or 1 tsp dried)
1 thyme sprig (or 1 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pie Crust, store bought or your favorite homemade recipe

Preheat oven at 325 degrees.  Lightly butter a pie plate.

Prepare the pie filling by heating the olive oil at medium heat and adding all of the vegetables and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring often so vegetables do not stick to pan.  Add the wine, milk, butter, spices, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low heat.  In a separate small cup put in 2 tablespoons of flour with just a little water and stir so there are no clumps of flour. Add flour water mixture to pan.  Let the filling cook for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf when done.

Roll out pie crust and put into pie plate. Add the filling and cover with sheet of pie crust making sure to add a few slits to top.

Heat pie in oven for 30-40 minutes until top is golden brown.


 

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Three Bean Vegan Chili

On January 8, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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The finished result.

This week is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where I spend a good 5 days away from home working our AT&T Developer Summit and seeing all of the geek goodness the world’s largest gadget show has to offer. Unfortunately, for my wife she gets 4 days solo of getting our boys ready for school – not an easy task. Plus her chef is away from the house.

As way to cushion the blow of being gone, I make a couple meals to get her through the week. The request this time was a double-dose of chili. Stephanie enjoyed the last time I made Emily Levenson’s Embelly White Chili and wanted that, but she also wanted a more traditional vegetarian chili.

For the vegetarian chili, I browsed Pinterest, the latest social networking site that is a great visual way to share content. The site has a Food & Drink category and you can follow my “Mostly Vegetarian” board as I use it to tag future recipes.

I found a Three Bean Chili from a blog I wasn’t aware called The Wright Recipes, by a former editor of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine.

The first step is to dry char Poblano chilies, garlic and an onion. This technique uses no oil or butter in the pot, just medium-high heat and some turning to get a charred result. Then the chilies, garlic and onions are put in a blender with a pint of grape tomatoes and pureed.

The puree is then added to some spices, brown sugar, and oil that is heated briefly.

The combined puree and spices form the basis for the chili. Two cups of water is added along with three types of beans. I use Eden Organic canned beans since they are also BPA free-lined cans.

A proper chili starts to take shape and heated to a simmer for 30 minutes when some frozen corn is added for the final 2 minutes before serving.

I tried some of the chili and it is full of flavor unlike most vegetarian chilies that taste like vegetable soup with chili powder. However, next time I’ll reduce the Poblano chili number from 2 to 1 as this chili is very spicy. Great, but too spicy for my wife and bordering on too spicy for me too.

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