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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Taco Bake With Hominy And Blackbeans

2014-12-03 18.00.22

My taco bake is a great way to change from having traditional tacos, to a casserole with all the flavors you love. So of course I start out with the delicious meat with those bold spices.

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I start out with 2 pounds of ground pork that I want to brown off on med high in a large saute pan. To the pork I toss in an onion, and some minced garlic. Then I add taco seasoning, tomato paste, chili powder, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. I saute all this all together until the pork is brown, the onions have cooked down, and the spices and tomato paste have combined with the meat. This takes around 10-15 minutes or so. You’ll notice seasoning have given the meat a deep dark red color, that when I add  in some low sodium beef broth. I turn the heat down to med and continue cooking this until the liquid has reduced, giving the meat a slight saucy consistency. Finally, off the heat I toss in 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro, and set this aside for a bit. This will really give the meat to marry with all the flavors I added.

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Now I adding something here that’s a bit different, but really delicious in the finished dish, hominy. Hominy is a corn product but larger in size, and used a lot in Latin cooking. It’s doesn’t have as sweet of flavor as traditional corn but it gives great texture to the dish, I rinsed and drained these ingredients before adding them in the bowl.  I’m going to add some black beans, and some yellow corn as well to the hominy to give extra flavor and texture. I sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, pepper, and  1 tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro to the mixture and stir this all together and set this aside for the minutes.

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Another component I going to add to this dish, is some salsa. In a food processor I start with caned fire roasted tomatoes. To that I add onion, 1/2 a seeded jalapeno, 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, garlic,(optional), the juice of one lime, sugar, (just to balance out the acidity of the ingredients), and 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. I just process this until I get the consistency of a jarred salsa.

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I thought it would be a great idea to have something refreshing and cool to put over the top of this taco bake. Similar to the way they add cold topping on a taco. Here in a bowl I have some chopped red and yellow grape tomatoes. I’ve add some diced red onion, 1/2 a seeded jalapeno, 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, avocado, the juice of one lime, and some Kosher salt. I tossed all this together gently, and placed some plastic wrap directly over the ingredients so as not to cause the avocado to turn brown. Then I placed this in the frig until the taco bake comes out of the oven. At this point I start to assemble the dish.

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Ingredients:

2 pounds of ground pork or  ground meat of your choice
1 diced yellow onion
1/2 a diced red onion
3 cloves of minced garlic (2 for the meat, and 1 for the jarred style salsa, this one is optional)
1 can each, drained and rinsed, hominy, and low sodium black beans
2-15 ounce cans of fire roasted tomatoes (regular diced tomatoes are fine)
1/3 cup of thawed frozen corn
1 package of med size flour tortillas
2 limes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 pint each of red and yellow grape tomatoes
1 seeded jalapeno
2 diced avocados
1 package each of Mexican blend and Colby jack shredded cheese
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 packages of taco seasoning mix
2 tablespoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup of low sodium beef broth

Instructions:

At the bottom of a deep casserole dish I ladle in some of my jarred style salsa. Then I have 4 med size flour tortillas that I place on top of that. Next the meat. Then a mixture of shredded Mexican and Colby jack cheese, then another layer of 4 flour tortillas  Next the hominy, black bean and yellow corn mixture, with a few ladles of the salsa on top of that then add more of the cheese mixture.  Finally I take the last 2 tortillas and cut them in half, lay them in there, ladle on the rest of the meat mixture, and top with the rest of the cheese.  Spray the dull side of a large piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray so the cheese won’t stick, cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or so until the cheese is golden brown. Let the taco bake rest for around 20 minutes allowing it to set. I then top with the raw avocado salsa that’s been in the frig.

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Chicken Sausage, Black Bean, And Cilantro Lime Rice Grilled Burritos

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These burritos are so delicious and easy to make. Grilling the outside of the whole grain tortillas gives extra texture making these burritos awesome. So for this dish I start with 1 package of chicken sausage. It’s leaner and with the spices inside the sausage has really nice flavor.

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I take the meat out of the casing first. Next in a large saute pan I saute 1 large diced onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

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After the onions have started to soften, I sprinkle in some Kosher salt, just about 1 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. To that I add in 3 minced garlic cloves. Nest the chicken sausage.

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Now while the sausage is browning and cooking with the onions and garlic, to add even  more flavor, I add 2 tablespoons of Fajita seasoning.

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Next I add in 1-1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth. You need a little liquid to create a sauce for the sausage to simmer in and soak up all the flavors from the seasoning. As it’s all bubbling away, I squeeze in a splash of fresh lime juice. I start out with the pan on med high heat until the liquid has reduced by half. then I turn it down to medium.

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After simmering for around 15 minutes you’ll see all the liquid has been absorbed by the sausage. I add in 1 can of rinsed and drained black beans. You just want to warm the beans through. Now with the heat turned off, I add in 1/4 cup of fresh chopped cilantro and stir through. Moving on, it’s time to put these bad boys together. I’ve made some Pico de gallo and cilantro lime rice to also go into the burritos. You can get those recipes for those, from earlier posts.

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I start by warming up 8 whole grain flour tortillas. I put them on a plate with a damp paper towel over them and microwave them for just about a minute. This makes them pliable.

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I start out placing the sausage on the bottom third of the tortilla, then a spoon of some Colby jack cheese, the rice and then the Pico de gallo.  Remember to not put too much of each ingredient or the tortilla will break. Roll the tortilla up over all the items, tuck in the sides and finish rolling. At this point I take non-stick cooking spray, and spray a little on each side. I place them in hot a non-stick saute pan with a grill press on top. You could just use something with some weight to it to press down on the burrito.  Check it after about 30 seconds or so, they brown quickly. Flip it, and do the same to the other side.

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I slice them on the bias and serve with a some more of that great Pico de gallo. You can see the layers of deliciousness inside. I have to say I felt really good about this dish. Using leaner meat, and a whole grain tortilla, this meal was totally guilt free and super satisfying.

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Chili Verde

 

 

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When I make a chili verde, these are the ingredients, along with…

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my poblano peppers and tomatillos. Let me go back a bit. The tomatillo, which are not related to the tomato but the gooseberry family, and come in their own wrapping. I peel the wrapping off 6-8 tomatillos, depending on their size, and along with 1 onion, 1 head of garlic that I halved, wrapped in foil, and 4 poblano peppers. On two separate sheet pans I roast the peppers with the onions and 1 garlic, and the other, the tomatillos. All the veggies with the exception of the poblanos get a drizzle of olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper. even the garlic.  I roast them all off at 425 for around 25 minutes. This is one of the steps I do in preparing the ingredients for my chili verde. I find it gives a depth of flavor to the chili. the first picture is my Mexican chocolate. It’s not sweet. I use it as a spice in the dish, that you’ll see later in the recipe. So now I prepare the meat. Usually I would use a pork butt or pork shoulder but in this case, I had a boneless pork loin on hand so I used it. Now the pork loin is a lot leaner than the butt so it will have to cool longer, but that’s fine because it’s one I planned to make on my day off. Now the loin comes tied up so I need to sear it off on all sides. To do this I’m going to make a little dry rub to go on the outside of the pork. It’s a really simple one. The loin is 3 pounds so I’m using equal parts 1 tablespoon each of cumin, ground coriander, dried Chipotle powder, brown sugar, Kosher salt, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. I mix all these spices together in a bowl, then I take it and rub it all of the pork loin on all sides. I have a large saute pan that really hot on the stove and I sear all sides of the pork off to give another depth of flavor to the chili. Once this is done, I have a large heavy bottom pot, like a dutch oven ready for the pork to go into. I time this so that when my veggies come out of the oven, I turn the temperature down from 425 to 350 degrees for the pork.

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In this pot I’m going to braise the pork for at least 4-5 hours. I’ve added 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth, 3 cups of orange juice, a small bunch of tied up cilantro leaves, 2 bay leaves,1 onion that’s been halved, and 1 whole jalapeno. The jalapeno will add some flavor but not a lot of heat to the braising liquid. You want the liquid to come almost all the way up the sides, but not to cover the meat, It should look like this. If you need to add a little water that’s just fine, I want to braise the pork not boil it. I bring this up to a boil first. Once this happens then I will turn it down to a simmer, and then put the lid on. I place this pot into a 350 degree oven for the next 4-5 hours. Around half way through the cooking process I turn the meat over and let it braise the rest of the way until it’s tender and almost falling apart. So now I’m going to pull all the roasted veggies out and reduce the temp on the oven for the pork and switch them out. You need to let the veggies cool for a bit before handling them, but the poblanos need to go into a bowl covered with plastic wrap so the skin will come off easy.

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After around 15 minutes I uncover the pobanos and peel the skin off and seed them. In a food processor I throw in all the seeded and peeled poblanos, half the roasted garlic,1 cup of cilantro leaves, the juice of one lime,  and the onion. I add a pinch of Kosher salt and pepper and a splash of chicken broth and pulse of the ingredients together. This is what you’ll have. At this point, you can take your time in doing the prep for all the veggies, because remember your pork will be cooking for a while. So I would say that after you have prepared all the ingredients for the chili just set them aside. You’ll want to have your pork shredded so that everything will be ready for you.

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This is a beautifully smokey,and garlic flavored puree that is going to bring this chili up to a level of perfection. The roasted tomatillos I have just quartered them and they are on stand-by waiting for their turn to be added. Another thing that I like doing is add another set of veggies that are not roasted but sauteed into the dish.This will give different textures to the dish. So I have 1 green bell pepper, the other half of the roasted garlic,1 white onion, and 2 seeded jalapenos, (of course you could use serrano peppers if you wanted to bump up the heat more), Later I’m going to add 2 cans of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans and the corn from 4 cobs.

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I have a great tip for getting corn off the cob and that’s to use a bundt pan. This way the corn won’t fly off the surface you’re using.

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Now In another large heavy bottom pot I like to toast of some ground spiced in some olive oil before adding these veggies. In a preheated pot I add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. To that I add 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon of  ground cumin,2 tablespoons of coriander, I let them toast in the oil for just a minute. You’ll be able to smell them right away.

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To the pot now I’m going to add all my diced veggies. I’ll saute them for a couple of minutes on med heat, until they get nice and coated with the spices before adding the poblano puree.

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To the diced veggies I’m going to add 1/4 cup of my Mexican chocolate, I do this now because I don’t want it to burn. I also add the juice of half of a lime and 2 tablespoons of Agave nectar and stir this all together. This will help to balance all the flavors.

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Now to this I’m going to add all the tomatillos.

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I also add a sprinkling  of Kosher salt and pepper and stir this all together. Now it’s time for the liquid. Remember the braising liquid the pork cooked in, well that’s good stuff. Use a slotted spoon and scoop out the onion, bay leaves, and jalapeno. They have done their work. Reserve 1 cup back, I’ll explain in a minute. The rest of the liquid is going into the chili.To the pot add the shredded pork in and stir everything together.

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I now add all of the braising liquid.

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You want the liquid to cover all the ingredients as if it was a soup like above. Now if you need to add more chicken broth or even water that’s fine, so long as it looks soupy. You see, we still have to add the corn and Cannellini beans to the chili and they will absorb some of the liquid while everything finishes cooking. At this point add the corn and beans to the pot and cook on med for another 45 minutes or so. The liquid will reduce and the chili will thicken some but not enough. Here’s what I do. After the 45 minutes this is what the chili will look like.

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At this point I taste the chili for seasoning, making sure I have enough salt and pepper in this dish. Depending on how thick you like your chili. Remember the 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid we had set aside, well in a bowl add 2 heaping tablespoon of corn starch and mix it with that liquid. Whisk those together until the corn starch is well combined and then pour it into the chili and stir it all around.

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Now after you’ve added the corn starch slurry to the chili let that come back up to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes and the dish is complete. The best part now are the toppings. I chose to make some crunchy tortilla strips, a sprinkling of cheddar and Queso Fresco cheese, avocado slices, and lime wedges to sever with mine.

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I ask you, can you taste the love that went into this dish, but wait I’m not done yet. How can you change this chili into something a little different the next day for leftovers. Dishes like this are always better the next day because the flavors just marry together and magical things happen. Since I spent a lot of time and love on making this dish. The next night I used a store bought short cut. Ready made pie crust. There are some great ones out there so don’t be afraid to take advantage of them. I took two of my pie dishes and laid out the bottom crust in each pie plate. Then I brushed the bottom with egg whites, so that it wouldn’t have that mushy pie crust on the bottom.I used a slotted spoon to fill the pies with the chili. This way if there were any extra liquid in the chili I would be able to strain it off and only get the thickest part of the chili into the pie.  Then I filled each with half of the chili that I had left over. Next I sprinkled some of the shredded cheddar and the Queso Fresco cheese on top. Then I placed the pie crusts tops on. Brushed them with an egg wash, and cooked them according to the directions on the pie crust box. There you have it, a taste of love in a pie.

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A few avocados on the top with some cilantro and there you have it.  Taste the love in my chili verde pie.

 

 

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