Chili con carne (lazy weekday version)

This is something I intended to post a couple of weeks ago, but just didn’t get around to it (oops!).  As the title of the post implies, this is another fast evening meal that will give you a big bang for your buck.  We used it to top stacked enchiladas, and then topped that with an over medium egg, but you can go nuts. Put it in burritos, make tacos, put it on salad, ice a cake with it…ok, maybe the options aren’t endless, but you get the idea.

Hard to see, but it's under the egg!

Hard to see, but it’s under the egg!

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 lb ground beef (I used 90% lean-you’ll add some oil to it, but it will be easier to control the fat)

1 large white onion, finely minced

1 tsp garlic paste

2 tbsp canola (or more, as needed)

3 tbsp flour

1 can (10 oz or so) enchilada sauce

2 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

Salt, pepper to taste

Method

Brown beef in cast iron skillet over medium heat. If using lower fat beef, add some canola, then sauté onions.  Once onions are cooked, add more oil if needed, and make a roux with the flour.  Once the flour has toasted, add the enchilada sauce and about a can’s worth of water.  Add the garlic paste and additional seasonings and stir to combine.  Let it come up to a simmer, and add the tomato paste.  Stir to combine and adjust seasoning.  Use as desired.  The leftovers keep fantastically, if you have any.

Poblano peppers with shrimp and cheese

As the next addition to our continuing repertoire of Mexican dishes, I would like to present poblanos with shrimp and cheese. This is another one of those quick weeknight meals that gives you fantastic bang for your buck (both in terms of time and money).  It can be scaled easily, and is a great lower carb options for anyone who would like some Mexican without a zillion tortillas.

Poblano with shrimp, avocado and rice

A (slightly overfilled) poblano with shrimp, avocado and rice

 

Ingredients (makes 4 peppers)

4 poblano peppers, grilled, peeled and seeded

1 lb shrimp, raw, peeled and de-veined

1/2 jumbo onion, chopped

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup crema

2/3 cup shredded cheese (we use the queso quesedilla from Kroger)

1 lime

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Method

Grill your poblanos, then place them in a plastic bag to steam.  Peel off the skins, and pull out the seeds and any light or white seed membrane that remains, but leave the stem intact if possible.  Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent and starting to turn slightly golden, and add the shrimp.  Continue to cook, several minutes until shrimp are almost done (when they are nearly entirely opaque). While the shrimp are cooking, add some salt and pepper, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder, or more to taste (oregano could be nice here too).  Add the juice of half to one lime (depending on how juicy your lime is), and stir in the crema and cheese.  Let cheese melt, and it should pull together into a lovely thick sauce within a few minutes.  Fill your poblanos with the shrimp mixture, and serve immediately.  This is really nice with rice and avocado (as you can see in the image).  If you’re nervous about pepper heat, by the times the poblanos are grilled and seeded, there is very little spicy zip is left, but it certainly could be made with a more mild type of pepper.  I would just recommend you try it once with poblano first.  It’s really hard to beat that smokey pepper flavor poblanos can get.