Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Homestyle Taco Meat

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The key to a really great taco is the meat. Simmered low and slow with a lot of bold flavors can take a taco to the next level. Don’t stop there, pick your choice of a vessel to serve your tacos, also important. Finally, finish by using your favorite ingredients full of bright colors and textures to fill your tacos. Eye candy is the best phrase I’d use to describe these tacos.

This is my recipe for Homestyle Taco Meat.

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Oregano

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I’m using two fresh herbs for my tacos. Oregano from my Hanging Herb Garden and fresh cilantro.

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Stuffing (2)

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Olive Oil

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Arugula

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

If you want my recipe for Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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You can choose between using plum tomatoes or grape tomatoes for your Pico de Gallo.

Pico de gallo

If you’d like my recipe for Pico de Gallo, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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If you’d like my recipe for Chunky-Style Guacamole, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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How about these Tex-Mex-Style Baguette Pizzas? Buy a jar of your favorite taco sauce to smear over grilled baguettes, top with shredded cheese. Place them under the broiler until the cheese becomes lightly golden brown and bubbly. Top with my Homestyle Taco Meat and fresh Pico de Gallo.

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Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

Cilantro

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (12 tacos)
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, chef’s knife, 3 large mixing bowls

Note: A variety of fresh salsas and Pico de gallo are now available in the refrigerated section of the produce department in most grocery stores. Take advantage of these products to use as ingredients for taco meat, even guacamole.

Ingredients For Taco Meat:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground chicken, lean ground sirloin, or turkey)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
1 lime, juiced
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups of beef stock, unsalted
3/4 cup of store-bought fresh salsa (cantina-style)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup of sliced green onions, reserve green tops for garnish, thinly slice the tops on the bias

Ingredients For Taco Seasoning:
1 1/2 tablespoons of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano

Note: Recipe yields approx. 1/4 cup of taco seasoning.
Note: 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground meat.

Directions For Taco Seasoning:
Add all the ingredients for the taco seasoning into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix to combine.

Tip: Store taco seasoning, in an airtight container, in a dry cool place.

Options For Tacos:
2 boxes of crunchy taco shells (substitute soft corn tortillas)
2 (8-ounce) packages of Mexican blend shredded cheese
limes
Arugula
Avocados
Red onion, finely diced
Cilantro for garnish
Green onion tops for garnish

Directions For Taco Meat:
Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and the diced onions. Stir and cook until the onions begin to soften and become translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the ground pork, 4 tablespoons of the taco seasoning, diced green onions (the white parts), minced Fresno chili, minced garlic, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper into the pan.

Using a wooden spoon break up the meat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and fresh Pico de gallo, stir to combine. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce, fresh lime juice, and beef stock. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.

At this point, all the liquid and seasonings have absorbed into the meat giving you a deep beefy flavor. Turn the heat off and add in the sliced green onion tops and cilantro leaves, mix to combine.  Transfer to a large serving bowl. It’s Taco Night!

To serve. I prefer the crunchy taco shells but really it’s totally up to you! This is my HomestyleTacos Meat.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

Guacamole Three Ways

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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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During the colder months here in Florida, I love making one-pot meals like soups and stews. Chili is definitely one of our favorites. I’ve played around with some recipes and found I like this one the best. It’s easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of prep. The best part is… everything’s done in the slow cooker! This is my Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili.

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Crock Pot

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Cilantro

Limes

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Avocado

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: soaking beans overnight
Total  Time:  6 hrs 45 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 7-quart Crockpot, chef’s knife, large mixing bowl, 1 (2-cup) measuring cup

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 pound of dried Great Northern beans, soaked and rinsed
2 ribs of celery, diced and cut into half-moons, include chopped leafy tops
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (4-ounce) cans of  Hatch green chilies, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 quart of chicken stock, unsalted
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup Masa
1 (15-ounce) package of frozen corn
2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges for serving
1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated, 1/2 cup reserved for serving
2 avocados, sliced for garnish
Cilantro for garnish
corn tortilla chips for serving

Directions:
The night before, pour 1 pound of dried Great Northern beans into a large mixing bowl. Cover the beans, by 3 inches, with water, cover, and place on the counter. The next day, drain and rinse the beans to remove any excess starch.

Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and Kosher salt. Sprinkle the spices over the chicken. Add the beans, celery, garlic, canned chilies, onions, and diced bell pepper.

Pour in the chicken broth, put the lid on and cook on low until the beans are cooked through, about 6 hrs.

Mix the milk with the Masa in a small bowl then add to the slow cooker. Add the frozen corn, straight from the freezer, and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a board and shred using two forks. Return to the slow cooker, then add the lime juice, sprinkle in the Monterey Jack cheese and stir to melt.

To serve: Ladle the chili into a porcelain serving bowl, garnish with extra cheese, cilantro, avocado slices, and a lime wedge. Place a few tortilla chips in or on the side for garnish. This is my Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili. Serve hot.

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Gluten-Free Mini Cauliflower Muffins

Gluten-Free Mini Cauliflower Muffins

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These Gluten-Free Mini Cauliflower Muffins are so flavorful. They may not be what you think of as real muffins. They’re more like mini souffle-style muffins. Not having the slightest bit of flour or baking powder, these little gems ROCK! Every bite has you wanting more.

This recipe’s star ingredient is the cauliflower. The extra depth of flavor in these gluten-free muffins comes from the liberally spiced roasted cauliflower. Finished with a dollop of Cream Cheese With Chives, my Gluten-Free Cauliflower Muffins are a great addition to your brunch buffet.

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Store-Bought Shredded Cheese

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Chives

Chives (2)

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes (includes roasting time of cauliflower)
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 24 mini muffins
Equipment: 1 (10-cup) food processor, 2 (12-cup) mini muffin pans, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, rubber spatula, Stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand-held electric mixer, piping bag

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets, (about 8 cups)
1 Fresno chili, roasted, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1/3 cup of Greek Yogurt full-fat (substitute low fat)
1/4 cup of fresh store-bought basil pesto (found in the refrigerated section)
1/2 cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cream Cheese With Chives Topping, (optional)
1 (8-ounce) bar of cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons of freshly minced chives

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Cut up a head of cauliflower into bite-size florets. Spread them out on a sheet pan. Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, Kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Make sure all the florets are really well coated. Add one whole Fresno chili to roast alongside the cauliflower, Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the cauliflower is golden and tender. Remove the Fresno chili and set it aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400-degrees F.

Note: Do not overfill the food processor.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add half the roasted cauliflower and half of the chopped Fresno chili and garlic. Pulse until smooth, no big pieces. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining roasted cauliflower florets, Fresno chili, garlic, and process. Add with the rest of the cauliflower mixture.

The color and flavor are awesome from the Fresno chili and spices.

In a large mixing bowl add the eggs, full-fat Greek yogurt, basil pesto, Kosher salt, and black pepper, mix to combine. Add the shredded Colby Jack cheese stir again to combine. Finally, add the cauliflower mixture, and combine.

Note: Make sure the bowl for mixing the egg whites is completely dry.

In a small bowl add two room temperature egg whites. Whisk the whites until the frothy stage. Add in 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Continue whisking until the egg whites reach the stiff peak stage. Refer to pictures.

Next, add the beaten egg whites slowly to the cauliflower mixture. Using a spatula, fold in the egg whites until just combined. Do not overmix. Spray the mini muffin tin pans really well with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the muffin tins to the top with the cauliflower mixture.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the muffins from the pan and set them onto cooling racks. Allow the muffins to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Once the Gluten-Free Mini Cauliflower Muffins have cooled arrange them on serving plates before piping on the cream cheese with chives.

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