White Bean Chili

Chili is one of my favorite dishes. There is just something so satisfying about sitting down with a big bowl of chili and some cornbread. Which is why it is such a disappointment to me that my school makes such poor chili. Good chili should have some kick to it, something that makes you feel warm inside. My mom makes the absolute best chili, but when she isn’t around I have to improvise. This recipe is full of flavor with the perfect amount of heat. The base of this recipe is the ground pork. Ground pork tends to be cheaper than ground beef so by using ground pork instead you save a bit of money while still ensuring the dish has plenty of flavor.

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Once you have all of your ingredients prepared and ready to go, the first thing to do is to start sautéing the onion in about a teaspoon of oil. Cooking the onion on its own first allows it to soften and get a bit of caramelization going which will result in a slightly sweet flavor that plays nicely with the acidity of the tomatoes later. Give the onions a few minutes by themselves before adding the minced garlic. The goal with the onion and garlic is to add a lot of flavor before we get to the heavy hitters – the pork and tomatoes. Plus the smell of onions and garlic cooking is a favorite of mine, guaranteed to make my mouth water.  

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Now it is time to add the pork. I find it is best to cook the pork all the way through before adding any liquid ingredients. This allows you to brown the meat adding another flavor element to the dish. Once the meat is cooked through it is time to add the seasoning to the dish. This is where the bulk of the “chili” flavor is developed. To the meat mixture add the chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and half of the oregano. Reserve the remaining half of the oregano to add with the broth later. IMG_1142

While the meat is browning, it is time to strain and rinse the beans. IMG_1143

Once the meat is browned and delicious it is time to add the bulk of our chili – the cannellini beans and the tomatoes. Most chili recipes call for crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, but I find the diced tomatoes add a nice element to the chili.

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Let the tomatoes and beans cook with the meat and onion mixture for a minute or two to really meld the flavors together. Now it is time to add the chicken broth, remaining oregano, and crushed red pepper for some heat. 

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After about twenty minutes it is time to add the flour slurry. This will thicken the broth up nicely. Once the broth has thickened it is ready to eat. Serve and enjoy! I like to pair mine with a nice cornbread muffin. 

Potential Variation: When corn is in-season I like to add it to just about everything. One potential variation for this recipe is to add about a cup of corn 🌽 (fresh or frozen will do nicely) to the dish when you add the crushed red pepper to the pot. I find corn adds a nice bit of brightness to the dish. 

White Bean Chili

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp.  dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 14.5 oz. can of cannellini beans
  • 14.5 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz. of chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. all purpose flour

Directions

  1. In a medium pot heat 1 tsp. of oil over medium-low heat and add the diced onion. Heat until the onions have softened and start to go translucent about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Once the onion has softened add the minced garlic and stir.
  3. After about 2 minutes add the ground pork and stir, breaking the meat apart with a spoon.
  4. Once the meat is cooked through add the chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and half of the oregano.
  5. Add the beans and tomatoes to the pot of seasoned meat. Cook on low for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add the chicken broth, remaining oregano, and the crushed red pepper. Simmer on low for 20-25 minutes.
  7. While the broth is simmering make a flour slurry by combining 1 tbsp. flour and 1 cup of the hot broth. Whisk until completely combined. Add the slurry to the chili and stir.

Enjoy!!

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Homemade Pork Meatballs

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Spaghetti with Homemade Meatballs

I came up with this recipe one night when I had a giant craving for meatballs. I tend to be a pasta purist, just pasta and marinara sauce– boring, I know. But that night I had a hankering for meatballs and I knew I had ground pork in the fridge so I figured why not give it a shot? Going off the knowledge I’d gleaned from hours of Food Network marathons and Chopped episodes I managed to throw together a pretty tasty bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. I jotted down what I’d done and got to dining. A few weeks later I gave the recipe another go and found even without a craving the meatballs hit the spot nicely. Now I am proud to present the recipe to you.

Yield: Fifteen 1-inch meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. Ground Pork
  • 1/2 Small Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 Beaten Egg
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning (marjoram, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, savory, sage)
  • 1/2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1/3 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. oil (olive oil or canola oil work well)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the oil and mix to combine.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating up, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  3. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook until the bottoms have browned. Turn the meatballs until they have browned on each side and then transfer to an oven-safe baking dish.
  4. Once all of the meatballs are in the dish, cover with tinfoil and place in a 350ºF oven for 15 minutes or until they are cooked all the way through.
  5. Once the meatballs are cooked through and there is no pink showing transfer to a plate and serve.

Enjoy!

Homemade Pork Meatballs

  • Servings: fifteen meatballs
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. Ground Pork
  • 1/2 Small Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 Beaten Egg
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning (marjoram, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, savory, sage)
  • 1/2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1/3 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. oil (olive oil or canola oil work well)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the oil and mix to combine.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating up, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  3. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook until the bottoms have browned. Turn the meatballs until they have browned on each side and then transfer to an oven-safe baking dish.
  4. Once all of the meatballs are in the dish, cover with tinfoil and place in a 350ºF oven for 15 minutes or until they are cooked all the way through.
  5. Once the meatballs are cooked through and there is no pink showing transfer to a plate and serve.

Chicken Soup with Penne

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Hi Guys!

This tasty recipe is perfect for rainy days. It has rained a lot here in New England this week so chicken soup was the perfect choice for the rainy weather. This is a simple recipe that can be jazzed up to your liking. By cooking the chicken before making the soup it gets a great deal of flavor that can be lost if you cook it in the broth. This recipe makes enough for dinner and leftovers. The bonus with leftovers? The flavors have time to meld together and create an even more delicious soup.


Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. olive oil or butter
  • 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 of a bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dry penne pasta
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pepper ja3LZ

Instructions

  1. To prep the chicken season both sides of each thigh with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each thigh with 1/4 tsp. of the poultry seasoning.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat 1 tsp. of oil over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip the chicken and cook until the meat is white all the way through and golden brown on the outside.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pot, cover, and set aside. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken into the fridge until you are ready to add it back into the pot.
  4. To the now empty pot add another tsp. of oil and the diced onions. Saute the onions until they begin to soften and turn translucent, stirring occasionally. Once the onions have softened add the garlic and stir. Continue to cook the mixture for approximately 2 minutes and then add the bell pepper.
  5. Cook until the pepper is soft and then add the tomatoes (make sure to include the juices from the can). Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the remaining poultry seasoning, the penne pasta, and the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil and cook until the pasta is al dente following the time listed on the box.
  7. Once the pasta has finished cooking reduce the heat to low and add the chicken and the frozen corn. Cook for two minutes and then remove the pot from the heat.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Perfect for a rainy day, especially when served with bread for dipping.

Chicken Soup with Penne

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. olive oil or butter
  • 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 of a bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dry penne pasta
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. To prep the chicken season both sides of each thigh with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each thigh with 1/4 tsp. of the poultry seasoning.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat 1 tsp. of oil over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip the chicken and cook until the meat is white all the way through and golden brown on the outside.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pot, cover, and set aside. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken into the fridge until you are ready to add it back into the pot.
  4. To the now empty pot add another tsp. of oil and the diced onions. Saute the onions until they begin to soften and turn translucent, stirring occasionally. Once the onions have softened add the garlic and stir. Continue to cook the mixture for approximately 2 minutes and then add the bell pepper.
  5. Cook until the pepper is soft and then add the tomatoes (make sure to include the juices from the can). Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the remaining poultry seasoning, the penne pasta, and the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil and cook until the pasta is al dente following the time listed on the box.
  7. Once the pasta has finished cooking reduce the heat to low and add the chicken and the frozen corn. Cook for two minutes and then remove the pot from the heat.

Serve and Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Pasta for One

Hi Guys! This is one of my favorite weekday meals for when I want real food but I am also feeling lazy. All of the ingredients are easy to find and usually pretty affordable making this meal a no brainer weekday fix. I love how simplifying the prep with canned tomato and prewashed baby spinach saves me time meaning I can eat faster. Nothing is worse than being really hungry and having to spend a ton of time cooking. This meal is fast and easy to make plus it tastes great.

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Ingredients

  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup penne pasta
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 1/4 frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Recipe

  1. Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir. Stir frequently until the onions begin to turn a golden brown color (if the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a splash of water and give it a stir). 
  2. When the onions have reached a nice golden color add the garlic and bell pepper. Stir and heat until the pepper has begun to soften. Once the bell pepper has started to soften, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook on low for about five minutes.
  3. While the sauce is cooking, add 2/3 of a cup of dry penne pasta to a large microwave safe pot. Cover with roughly 1 1/2 cups of water and place in the microwave. Microwave for 3-4 minutes longer than the time on the box. Once the time is up, check the doneness by sampling a piece or two and then strain the excess water in the sink.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add your handful of baby spinach and the frozen corn and stir to combine. Cook until the spinach is wilted and then turn off the heat.
  6. Plate and enjoy!

*This is a basic recipe that lends itself well to experimentation. Add some ground beef or pork to the onions when sauteing for extra protein or experiment with different spices to find your favorite take.