Category Archives: Casserole / One Pot

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Dreamland BBQ Sauce

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
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Texas clearly values BBQ Brisket over any other protein. That said, I will try and enjoy it all and truth be told I probably go 50/50 on beef and pork. I also enjoy the vinegar that you find in the Southeast. So when I asked Jill what she would like this week, she said let’s do BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.

For tonight I didn’t go all out with a coleslaw topping or anything but it’s always welcomed on a pig sammie. I did make a potato salad with two russets some mayo, sour cream, pickled jalapenos and green onions. I won’t include the recipe because I truly winged it. That said you can search my blogs for sides like potato salad or beans etc.

After eight hours in the bath the pork can’t help but get fall apart tender. In fact, fishing it out of the crockpot was a challenge. I also like to add sauce only on the top of the mound of pork to let the pork shine. Always butter and griddle your buns until you get a nice brown “crunch” texture. This will help it hold up to the moisture of the overall sandwich.

Ingredients:
Pork Shoulder
1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup of water
1 onion sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tbs of yellow mustard
2 tbs of ketchup
Buns

Rub
Equal parts depending upon size
1 tbs of Chili Powder
1 tbs of Onion Powder
1 tbs of Garlic Powder
1 tbs of White or Brown sugar
Pinch of cumin and cayenne optional.

Directions:
1. Take your shoulder and apply your dry rub and let it sit. You can let it sit overnight if you so choose.

2. In your crock pot on high heat set for 8 hours add your sliced onions, minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, water, mustard and ketchup. Lay your rubbed shoulder in your crockpot. It should almost cover the shoulder with about 1/4 of it sticking out. Cover and walk away. Around the 7 to 8 hour time you can turn it but it will be done. Shred the pork

3. Toast your bun, apply your pork and your favorite sauce on top. I picked up a bottle of Dreamland BBQ sauce out of Alabama. It’s a nice blend of Carolina and TX sauces. Serve with Beans, potato salad or whatever you like. See my side recipes for ideas.
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Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce

Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pesto Tortellini with Chicken Pea Cream Sauce
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I wasn’t sure what to call this dish but when I spotted the Trader Joe’s pesto tortellini I knew Jill would love it A creamy Parmesan sauce was a perfect complement. Adding the chicken made it a more substantial mean but certainly not necessary. Also when I make a creamy sauce for my pasta I love adding peas because they add a pop of sweetness and freshness.

Given I used packaged tortellini this is one of those restaurant quality meals that you can whip up in a flash. I used two chicken breasts but looking back I would just go with one because we couldn’t eat it all. For the sauce, I will try to remember how much I used of each ingredient but the more important thing for you to do is consider your tastes. Do you like a lot or light amounts of sauces? Do you like it thick or more loose. More cheesy or even use another cheese like Gruyere, swiss, maybe even blue cheese. hmmmm?

Ingredients for 2:
1 Package of Trader Joe’s Pesto Tortellini
1 tbs of flour
1 tbs of butter
1 cup of milk or cream
Parmesan Cheese
Peas
Chicken breast

Directions:
1. Let’s make some chicken. Season both sides with Kosher salt and Pepper. Put a little bit of oil in a medium heated cast iron skillet and cook it until done and make sure you get some nice browning. Remove your chicken and set it aside. IMG_0703

2. Turn the heat down medium low and splash in a little chicken stock or water (pasta water if you decided to cook your tortellini first, to deglaze the pan. Now add your butter and flour to get a rue going. Given the chicken bits are in your rue it will look darker but stir until you get a nice paste. Slowly pour in the milk stirring continuously. I let it thicken up a little bit and then added about a cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Again once you get your rue, you can make more or less sauce by adding only the milk/cream amount you like. If it gets too thick, add some stock, pasta water or even milk. Add your peas and your cut chicken breasts. Stir
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3. Cook your Tortellini until al dente. I chose to pour my sauce mixture over the top versus incorporating them into the sauce with everything else. The reason is that I have had some ravioli or tortellini bust open on me during the stir. I just stirred it while in my bowl.
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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Enchilada Casserole
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Tonight I was feeling a little mexican sour cream chicken enchiladas but wanted to change it up and decided to create a casserole thing. It turned out like a spicy Chicken Divan minus the broccoli. This one is a super fast and easy comfort dinner. You could pull down the spice by reducing the jalapenos but Jill and I like to sweat a little when we eat.

Ingredients:
Two Rotisserie Chicken Breasts
Corn tortillas
1 small can of green chilies
1 small can of diced jalapenos
Sharp Cheddar Cheese grated
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup of milk
1 tbs of flour
1 tbs of butter

Directions:
Prep: Shred chicken, grate your cheese, open your cans.
1. Take your favorite saucepan on medium low heat and melt your butter. Now stir in your flour and stir for about a minute or so. Add the milk and stir until it thickens just a bit. Add your cream of chicken soup, sour cream and your peppers and chilies.

2. Preheat oven to 375. Put a little sauce down on the bottom of a glass dish. I made a small one since it was just the two of us. Place your tortillas on the bottom. I tore up about 4. Add your shredded chicken on top and then pour the sauce until everything is covered. Move it around with a spoon to make sure everything is coated. Top with cheese and cook until it’s bubbly and melted. Given that everything is basically cooked I let it go 30 minutes uncovered.

Let it stand for 10 minutes or so. Serve and eat. Great for leftovers and even freeze worthy.
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Far East Roast Beef Dip Sandwich

Far East Roast Beef Dip Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Far East Roast Beef Dip Sandwich
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A while back I created a recipe titled Ginger Beef Ginger beef which a nod to Num Pang in NYC who serves up some mean sandwiches that people line up and wait for.

So I basically looked at my recipe but really didn’t measure anything. This sandwich is a must try. Think of the French Dip with an Asian/Thai/Vietnamese twist. It’s not overly “Asian” but only so due to the vinegar, soy sauce and ginger. That’s really it. Now the addition of the tomato sauce gives it a kick but it’s not Asian.

I served it on a toasted French Baguette with cilantro, cucumber and a little Dukes Mayo. It’s messy, spicy, savory. I cooked the meat in the crock pot for 6 hours and it was fall apart, melt in your mouth tender which perfectly complimented by the chewy toothy bread. The veggies gave it a refreshing punch. I poured some sauce into a little side dish and used it to dip.

Ingredients:
Hunk of beef for two
1 beer
1 14oz can of tomato sauce
1 cup of Soy Sauce
1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbs of Sriracha
1 onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
knuckle of ginger (peeled and cut)
4-5 cloves of smashed garlic
Beef stock to cover

French Baguette
Cucumber sliced thinly
Cilantro
Dukes Mayo

Directions:
1. Cut and chop the veggies, add the meat and all the liquids except the tomato sauce. I cooked mine on high for 6 hours.

2. To make your sauce, add all the liquid plus the tomato sauce and some of the garlic and ginger to a blender. It’s hot so be careful blending hot stuff. Go slow and don’t close the lid all the way. Blend slowly until smooth.
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3. Now in a bowl take your roast beef and add your sauce to cover the meat. You want it nice and juicy.
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4. Cut and toast your baguette until light golden brown. Put Dukes Mayo on one side and add you meat with your sliced cucumber and cilantro. IMG_0690IMG_0691

Roasted Ranch Chicken, Green Beans and Purple Potatoes

Roasted Ranch Chicken, Green Beans and Purple Potatoes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Ranch Chicken, Green Beans and Purple Potatoes
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Sunday is my day for planning the week’s meals. Lately I have been finding myself calling audibles the day of and cooking something different or picking up something instead. Because of this, I have several bags of vegetables that were planned for other dishes but were never used.

So tonight I honor all those forgotten vegetables and put them to use in a one pan roasting extravaganza. I could have gone the Italian dressing route or lemon but settled on Ranch Seasoning. I picked up a little jar of Ranch seasoning on my last Penzey Spice run. I thought I would put it to use on this experiment of a meal. Boring but healthy and tasty because roasting makes everything taste great.

Ingredients:
Fresh Green Beans
2 chicken breasts
Purple potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
3 pats of butter
olive oil
Ranch Seasoning (Penzey’s)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut your potatoes into bite sized pieces and trim your green beans. Load it all up in a baking dish and top with seasoning, garlic and three pats of butter. Roast until cooked and tender which is somewhere in the 40-55 minute range.
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Frito Chili Pie

Frito Chili Pie

  • Servings: 10+
  • Difficulty: easy
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Frito Chili Pie
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I am loving the change of weather in Texas. When contrasted against our hot and mostly unbearable summers, that first cooling front excites me like a fat kid over cake. Football on Saturdays and Sundays is just hard to beat. Such a great time of the year.

At the State Fair you see these bags of Fritos Corn Chips cut open and chili, cheese and onions added to your liking and given a spork to eat it right out of the bag. We haven’t had chili in a while so I made my a version of my Uncle J’s chili and topped it with fresh shredded cheddar and Fritos The other nice thing about it is that you can freeze the left overs or use it on other dishes (burgers, dogs, enchiladas,) and/or eat it throughout the week.

Ingredients:
Bag of Frito Corn Chips
Fresh block of extra sharp cheddar cheese
Uncle J’s Chili https://whiskeynwry.com/2014/12/29/uncle-js-chili-103/

Directions
1. Follow my recipe for my Uncle J’s Chili or your own favorite chili recipe. I catch grief being from Texas and using beans. Don’t know why it’s a big deal down here but I like what I like. Top it with chips and cheese and enjoy it with your favorite beer.

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Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp Slurp

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp Slurp

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp Slurp
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Jill caught a cold the other week and was all stuffed up with a sore throat etc… She likes shrimp so I decided to whip up a really spicy warm bowl of soup to sooth her throat and open her up. So I decided on a ramen based Thai soup where I could kick up the curry and Sriracha to do the trick.

I found a soup on Damn Delicious and decided to use that as my base recipe. Chungha’s blog is great with simple ingredients and great photography. She is worth a click to check out.

This soup really turned out perfectly. The balance of heat with the subtle smoothness of the coconut milk made for the perfect base. If you don’t enjoy curry or even shrimp you could still make this and sub in some tomato paste and another protein.

Get your slurp on.

Ingredients
1 lb of fresh shrimp (shelled and cleaned)
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 red bell pepper (cored, seeded, diced)
1 small yellow onion (diced)
1 tbs of diced ginger
1 lime juiced
Cilantro
1 package of Ramen Noodles (don’t use their seasoning)
1 can of shaken Coconut Milk
2-3 cups of Chicken Stock
2-3 tbs of Red Curry Paste (jarred)
A few dashes of fish sauce
A few squirts of Sriracha
2 tbs of butter

Directions:
1. In a pot on medium heat add your butter, onion and red pepper and saute until tender. Add your garlic and ginger, stir for one minute. Add your coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, red curry paste, sriracha. Bring to a simmer and taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

2. Right before you are ready to serve it add your shrimp and ramen. This will cook really quickly, like 3 minutes quick. Remove from heat and serve with cilantro.
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Pan Roasted Herb Chicken, Potatoes, and Carrots

Pan Roasted Herb Chicken, Potatoes, and Carrots

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pan Roasted Herb Chicken, Potatoes, and Carrots
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I am getting behind on my posts and have several queued up. This one is pretty boring and simple but I think it goes to show you can create a healthy meal without a lot of fuss but that passes the taste test. I think roasting chicken is probably my favorite way to cook it. Somehow it comes out with concentrated flavors and retains its juices really well. The root veggies come out with little crispy edges with super tender inside.

Ingredients:
2 free range chicken breasts (I went boneless skinless but for more flavor go bone in and skin on)
Two potatoes (cut into same sized pieces)
2 carrots (cut into same sized pieces)
Fresh Rosemary and thyme
Kosher Salt and Pepper
splash of chicken broth

Directions:
1. This is a bit embarrassing because it’s stupid simple. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a pan add your chopped carrots and potatoes along with the chicken breasts. Rub your chicken breasts and veggies with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Roast until the juices run clear. I add a splash of chicken broth about half way through when I flip everything.

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Greenzilla Smoothie

Greenzilla Smoothie
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A couple of weeks ago I was in Canada for business and went to dinner with some guys. One of the guys was a health fanatic and we started talking about his routine and his food. He is a big runner and also a low calorie guy. Have you heard of these guys who try to keep it to 1200 calories a day. He isn’t that strict but will go low calorie a few days a week. We talked about dinner and he said he has a green smoothie several times a week. He said he craves them so I have been making and drinking them for breakfast for about a week. They are pretty delicious.

Here is how I make it….

1 avocado
1 green apple
1/2 cucumber
1 tbs of ginger
1/4 frozen pineapple
Two handfuls of spinach and kale mix
1 lime juiced
1/2 cup of Organic natural apple juice
a few cubes of ice

I take most of the skin off the apple and cucumber and rough chop them. I add everything in my Vitamix and start it slow and hit it hard for about 1-2 mins to break everything down as smooth as possible.

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Chicken Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole
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My oldest sister didn’t my Mother’s cooking gene. She is about ten years older than me so I got to see her go to college, get her first job, get married, have kids etc… So she was a “grown up” in my eyes. She would have us over for dinner for birthdays and to see her kiddos etc. I would dare say the first 15-20 years of her adulthood every meal that was ever served by her was chicken divan. While impressive the first five times it soon became a joke.

While it was a joke in our family, it really is a pretty tasty dish and certainly a great way to get kids to eat broccoli. It’s creamy, cheesy and savory. I think this base could be adjusted towards a mexican flair by adding roasted hatch chilies and cilantro.

Ingredients:
2 free range air chilled chicken breasts (diced)
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained
3-4 cups of diced broccoli (bit sized)
1 small white onion (diced)
1 stalk of celery (diced)
2-3 garlic (minced)
2-3 tbs of butter
1 tbs of olive oil
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of low fat milk
2-3 cups of cheddar
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
2 tsp of garlic powder
2 tsp of onion powder
2 tsp of cayenne powder
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, rinse and drain your quinoa, spray a 9×13 baking dish and set it aside. Now get to chopping your onion, celery, garlic, broccoli and your chicken.

2. In a medium heated cast iron skillet add your olive oil and cook your chicken. When done, remove and set aside.

3. Add your onion and celery into the same skillet and cook until soft. Add the garlic and then also the butter. After the butter has melted add your flour to start making a roux. Stir constantly. Add half your chicken broth and milk and turn down your heat to medium low. Stir and thin it out. IMG_0446

4. So now you have a soupy mixture that will tighten up. Add your sour cream and cream of chicken soup stir until well combined. Return your cooked chicken and add your broccoli and half your cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined. Now eye ball the mixture to make sure it is on the “wet” side. Add your seasonings and taste and adjust accordingly

5. In your sprayed baking dish add the quinoa and the rest of the chicken broth to make sure it is covered well and wet. Pour the skillet into the baking dish. Cover with cheddar and panko. Cook for 30-40 minutes. Half the time covered and half uncovered.
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