Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bolognese Sauce - my version

I love a slow cooked, homemade, thick sauce. It kicks jarred sauce ass any time! But life with 2 kids and 2 full time working parents it doesn't always happen this way. However my baby boy was home sick recently and during nap time I was able to get the sauce going. And after melding for a few days in my fridge it was delicious! The prep time really isn't that bad. It just has to cook 2-3 hours (at least) so you can't really plan to go anywhere but on days when you are home with a sick baby, this is a good day to do it.

2 TBSP olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP dried basil
Salt & pepper
1 lb. ground beef (90/10)

Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron pot. Add in the carrot, celery and shallots and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and shallots, cook another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile in a separate pan, brown the ground beef and drain. Set aside.

In the pot, mix in the tomato paste and water in with the vegetables and cook 7-10 minutes on a low heat.

Once the tomato and vegetable mixture has thickened a bit, add in the two large cans of tomatoes and dried herbs, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir everything together and cook for one hour on a low heat, barely simmering. Stir every 15 minutes or so.

After an hour, add in the ground beef and cook another 1-2 hours until desired thickness.

It's best if you let the sauce sit at least overnight before serving to really get everything mixed together.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Finally something new I wanted to make. I saw this recipe for Chicken Enchilada Casserole in March 2011's Cooking Light. However it had WAY too many steps for what really should be something quicker and easier. So I made it quicker and easier! I changed up some ingredients and reduced steps and came up with my version which was very tasty according to the oohs and aahs I got from my family. I would definitely suggest my version over theirs if you are looking to save time and still have a great meal.

1 whole roasted chicken, skinned (buy at the store!)
1 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup low fat cream cheese
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1 shallot, chopped
4 tsp jarred garlic
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup salsa verde
1/4 cup water
6 large tortillas, quartered
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Shred the roasted chicken and place in a large bowl. Mix in the cream cheese, corn and spices and set aside. In a pan, saute the half of the chopped shallots for 1-2 minutes, mix in 2 tsp garlic, saute another 30 seconds and remove from heat. Combine with the chicken mixture.

Combine the remainder of the shallot and garlic in a saucepan with the broth, salsa, and water. Simmer over a medium heat for 15 minutes. If you want, you can then blend the mixture in a food processor or blender or leave as is.

Spread a half cup of the salsa mixture on the bottom of an 8x8 saucepan, top with about 6 tortilla quarters or enough to cover the bottom. Scoop about 1.5 cups of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, top with the salsa and repeat until you end with tortillas and any remaining salsa you may have. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and bake at 425 for 15 minutes.