¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant peeled and small diced
1 small red onion (diced)
1 small yellow onion (diced)
¼ cup Mediterranean chili spice mix (recipe below)
1 pound ground chicken
3 cloves of garlic minced
¼ cup tomato paste
2 ½ cups chicken broth
½ cup dark red kidney beans (cooked)
½ cup pinto beans (cooked)
½ cup black beans (cooked)
1 cup chickpeas (cooked)
1 cup diced pita bread
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup Ricotta cheese
Mediterranean chili spice mix:
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ tablespoon black pepper
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon brown sugar
½ tablespoon flour
½ tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground rosemary
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Place above spices in a small bowl and whisk together until well combined.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Place 2 tablespoon oil into the bottom of a large deep skillet and place on medium high heat. Add eggplant and onions, sprinkle with ½ tablespoon chili spice mix and cook stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes or until eggplant starts to brown. Add chicken, and 2/3 of the minced garlic, sprinkle with another ½ tablespoon chili spice mix and cook stirring often another 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and starts to brown. Add tomato paste and 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture, cook stirring often for another 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the sauce has almost thickened. Add the beans and reduce heat to simmer and cook covered another 5 minutes.
While chili cooks place the chickpeas and pita bread on a sheet pan, drizzle with a 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of spice mixture. (toss to fully coat with spice mixture) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until pita is golden brown and slightly crispy.
Place remaining minced garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, yogurt, cheese, ½ tablespoon of olive oil and ½ tablespoon of spice mixture into a small bowl and whisk together until well combined.
To plate: ladle chili into bowls, top with a generous amount of chick peas and pita, spoon over a heaping tablespoon of Ricotta sauce and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Triple Chocolate Coffee Spiced Pumpkin Cookies with Pecan Bits
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon hot milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup coconut flour (if you do not have you can use all purpose flour)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 360°F
Melt the stick of butter in the microwave for 25 seconds. Whisk sugar into the butter, then whisk in the egg. Set aside
Dissolve baking soda in the hot milk, add vanilla and stir. Add to the sugar mixture and whisk together. Add Pumpkin Puree and coffee and whisk until well combined.
In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, chocolate chips and nuts. Whisk together until well combined.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. (Do not over mix). Taking 1 tablespoon at a time form into balls and place on cookie sheet. Space a few inches apart. Cook for 5 minutes and then slightly flatten with the back of spoon, cook an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until cookies are just starting to crisp on the outside.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve. Place any left over cookies in a zip top bag or air tight container.
Makes 36 cookies
Prep time 8 to 10 minutes
Cook time 10 to 12 minutes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
1 ½ teaspoon coarsely ground Black pepper
1 yellow onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon chili flakes
½ tablespoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basal
1 can (14.5 ounces crushed tomatoes)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
8 ounces ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 large zucchini squash
1 large yellow squash
1 cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup Italian style bread comes (optional but recommended)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ½ tablespoon oil to pan and swirl skillet to coat with olive oil. Add ground beef to pan, season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook stirring often for 3 to 5 minutes or until meat is nicely browned. Pour meat into a strainer to remove excess fat.
Place 1 tablespoon oil into skillet and return to medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until onion softens and turns translucent. Add chopped garlic, granulated garlic, chili flakes, oregano, basal 1 teaspoon brown sugar and cooked beef to the skillet. Cook stirring often for one minute. Add crushed tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Stir and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken.
While sauce is cooking place ricotta cheese into a small bowl, add Parmesan cheese remaining brown sugar, salt, pepper and oil. Stir until well combined.
Slice the squash into thin ribbons (use a vegetable peeler or knife if you do not have a mandolin)
Assemble the Lasagna: In the bottom of a greased 9 x 12 baking pan place a layer of zucchini ribbons, top with 1/3 of the meat sauce, top meat sauce with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture. Add a layer of yellow squash ribbons, top with another third of the meat sauce and ricotta mixture. Add the last of the squash, top with remaining meat sauce and ricotta mixture, sprinkle with Mozzarella and bread crumbs. Place in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until squash is fork tender and cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Remove from oven allow to rest for 5 minutes then cut into slices (should make 8 slices).
If you want to make a vegetarian version omit the meat and use 1 pound sliced mushrooms instead (you will need to add an extra tablespoon of olive oil and extra ¼ teaspoon of salt to the pan when cooking mushrooms)
Serves 4 people
Prep time 5 to 10 minutes
Cook time 35 to 45 minutes
Terrapin Beer Company makes a beer called Liquid Bliss which is a chocolate and Peanut butter Porter. I used it in this Thai style curry dish because it gives just the right touch of both chocolate and peanut flavors as well as adding a nice full bodied tone. The sauce itself is rich and creamy with both the sweet and spicy flavors shining through . The chicken is seared in a rub with flavors that both complement and enhance the sauce.
Terrapin Beer Company makes a beer called Liquid Bliss which is a chocolate and Peanut butter Porter. I use it to make this Mexican mole sauce because this porter gives just the right amount of both chocolate and peanut essence as well as a adding a nice depth of flavor. The sauce itself is a rich full bodied sauce with a nice amount of spice and a slight smokiness. The aroma of the chocolate and peanut butter adds a distinct character to the sauce yet does not over power the flavors of the roasted peppers, tomato and other spices. The chicken is seared in a rub with flavors that both complement and enhance the sauce.
Minute rice products such as Minute Multi-grain medley make hosting holiday parties fun and simple. The products cook quickly and make it easy to produce a variety of quality appetizers, sides and meals that I know my family and friends will love. What’s even more exciting is that most dishes can be prepared in advance and by the time they are heated up the minute rice products are ready to be added so it seems like I did all the cooking that day, giving me time to ready the house and myself so I can enjoy the party too.
Just posted some of my award winning recipes. Check out the Recipe pages above and let me know what you think.