Pozole Rojo

Ingredients

  • 4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded*
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded*
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut in half
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided (we used table salt)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (we used yellow onions)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 4 cups chicken broth (we used Swanson 33% Less Sodium)
  • 2 cans (30 ounces each) white hominy, rinsed and drained (we used 4 (15.5 oz each) cans of Bush’s White Hominy)
  • Optional toppings: sliced radishes, lime wedges, sliced romaine lettuce, chopped onion (we used yellow onion), tortilla chips and/or diced avocado (we used everything but the tortilla chips)

Directions

  1. Take the chiles and place them in a medium-sized bowl, pouring the boiling water over them afterwards. Use a small plate or a bowl to weigh the chiles down and let them soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While the chiles are soaking, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt all over the pork. Pour the oil into a large skillet (we used a large cast-iron skillet), setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Place the pork in the skillet, cooking it for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pork’s browned on all sides (took us about 3 minutes for each side to get browned). Place the pork in the slow cooker (we used a 6 qt. slow cooker).
  3. Take the same skillet you browned the pork in and place it over medium heat. Toss the onions in, cooking them for 6 minutes or until they’ve softened (6 minutes did the job for us). Add the following ingredients to the skillet, stirring for a minutes once they’re all in: garlic, cumin, oregano, and the remaining salt. Stir the broth in, bringing it to a simmer, making sure to scrape up any browned bits that are on the bottom of the skillet during that time. Once simmering, pour the broth and everything else that’s in the skillet over the pork.
  4. Add the softened chiles and it’s soaking liquid into either a food processor or a blender (we used a blender) and process the chiles until it’s a smooth mixture. Pour the chile mixture into a fine-mesh sieve that has a medium-sized bowl sitting under it. Using a spoon, press the chiles so that you get as much liquid as possible**. Throw away any solids and mix the liquid into the slow cooker.
  5. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 5 hours. Take the lid off just long enough to stir in the hominy, putting the lid back on and letting the pozole cook for another hour. Turn the heat off and  let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before skimming fat from the surface and throwing it away (we never removed any fat from the liquid). Take the pork out of the slow cooker and place it on a large cutting board where you can shred it using two forks. Pour the hominy mixture into a bowl and top it with the pork and any of the toppings you choose to use.

*We did remove the stems but as far as the seeds go, we shook out what seeds we could but didn’t care if there were seeds still left in the peppers.

**After processing the chiles and the soaking liquid, we just put the mixture straight into the slow cooker, skipping the part involving the sieve.

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This recipe takes a bit of work  but the flavor was absolutely worth it ! The tender pork was hard to stop eating while we were shredding it because it tasted that good to us ! The hominy is equally delicious though because it just absorbs all that flavor during that hour in the slow cooker. As far as the toppings go, we think a lot of them contributed flavor and texture but we could go without the avocado next time. We love avocado but other than maybe it cutting down on the little bit of saltiness that the pozole had and it adding color to the dish, it just didn’t make the dish better (didn’t make it worse either though). We’ve been meaning to make this dish for a while because it sounded really flavorful and now that we’ve finally made it, we know we were absolutely right !

This recipe came from Crock-Pot.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Swanson, Bush’s or Crock-Pot.

Take care everybody !

Andouille Sausage Gravy

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped smoked andouille sausage (we used Roger Wood brand andouille that we cut into slices that we then quartered)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (we used a yellow onion)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • Garnish: chopped fresh sage, ground black pepper (didn’t use)
  • Biscuits (The recipe didn’t call for this but what better a thing to serve this gravy on other than biscuits?)

Directions

  1. Take a 10-inch cast-iron skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion and sausage in, stirring constantly for 7 minutes or until the sausage has browned. Turn the heat down to medium and move onto step 2.
  2. Take a medium-sized bowl out and whisk the following ingredients together in it: flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pour the milk into the bowl, whisking until the mixture is smooth*. Pour the flour mixture into the skillet, whisking to combine. Bring the gravy to a boil, stirring constantly during that time. Turn the heat down and whisk for 5 to 7 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Take the skillet off the heat and mix in the sage and vinegar, garnishing with the sage and pepper if you’re using them.

*We mixed the milk and flour mixture together before starting to make the gravy. We did give it a stir before adding it into the skillet.

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We couldn’t get enough of this gravy, it was so freaking delicious ! You definitely taste the andouille in this velvety smooth gravy (well, velvety smooth aside from getting to bite into the pieces of andouille). We loved having this over biscuits but honestly, we were tempted to just get a bowl full of the gravy and eat it with a spoon !

This recipe came from Southern Cast Iron.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Roger Wood or Southern Cast Iron.

Take care everybody !

Pork Chop Mac And Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork rib chops
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded  whole-milk mozzarella cheese*
  • 1 (16-ounce package cavatappi pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garish: fresh rosemary

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Take a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and pour 1 tablespoon of oil in, setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion in, stirring it now and then for around 5 minutes or until the onion looks lightly browned. Take the onions out of the skillet and put them on a plate for the time being. Pour the remaining oil into the skillet. Season the pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt** and 1/2 teaspoon pepper**, adding them to the skillet so they can get browned (about 3 minutes per side). Take the pork chops out and put them on a plate (not the one with onion on it).
  3. Add the butter into the skillet, turning the heat down to medium. Once the butter’s melted, put the flour in the skillet, stirring constantly for 1 minute (we slowly whisked the flour in and then stirred for a minute). Whisk in the following ingredients: milk, sage, rosemary, and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-high and wait for boiling to occur, stirring constantly during that time. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low. Whisk constantly for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, taking the skillet off the heat once it has.
  4. Add the mozzarella into the sauce, stirring until melted. Put the pasta in the skillet, tossing to get all of it coated in the cheese sauce. Put the pork chops on top of the mac and cheese, overlapping them a little. Sprinkle on the onion, bread crumbs and Parmesan.
  5. Place the skillet in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pork chops are tender and fully cooked. Garnish with the rosemary and you’re ready to dig in !

*The only whole-milk mozzarella we could find in our town was a 16 oz. package of fresh whole-milk mozzarella from Belgioioso. It was a hot mess trying to grate it, we had all kinds of pieces breaking off while grating but we were able to get the 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese from that one package and we enjoyed just snacking on all the broken off pieces.

**1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper just didn’t seem like enough to season the pork chops with so we added extra salt and pepper on so that both sides of the pork chops seemed properly seasoned.

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The pork chops tasted so good that we actually considered gnawing on the bone just to get to every last bit of meat ! The pork chops are great but the macaroni and cheese is freaking awesome ! The cheese was ooey gooey and you could taste the sage but it wasn’t overpowering. The chopped onions tasted good with the pork chops and the macaroni and cheese. The rosemary garnish helped the flavor of rosemary come through a little more and it added some more color to the meal. This is a fantastic 2-for-1 comfort food dish that we hope you love as much as we did !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Belgioioso.

Take care everybody !

Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce (we used Crystal hot sauce)
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional) (we used 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning (we used Chef Paul Prudhomme Seafood Magic Seasoning Blends)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 cup fish stock (we used seafood stock)
  • 1 pound medium shrimp- peeled and deveined

Directions

  1. Pour the oil into a heavy skillet*, setting the skillet over medium heat. Once the oil’s hot, slowly stir in the flour, continuing to stir for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the roux has at least a “peanut butter brown” look to it or darker (ours got to what we thought of as “peanut butter brown” by the 7 or 8 minute mark). If your roux gets burnt, just throw it away and start over, there’s no saving a burnt roux !
  2. Toss the onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper into the skillet, stirring for 5 minutes or so to get the vegetables softened (ours took around 6 or 7 minutes). Mix in the chopped tomatoes, stock and seafood seasoning. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally during that time.
  3. Stir in the hot sauce and cayenne (if you’re using cayenne that is), mixing in the crawfish and shrimp next. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque (fully cooked).

*When we saw that they called for a heavy skillet, we thought about using our cast-iron skillet but we found out that if your cast-iron skillet isn’t heavily seasoned, acidic food can strip away the seasoning and give the food to have a metallic taste. We decided to just use a regular large skillet.

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The recipe actually suggested serving this with hushpuppies or crackers on the side but we enjoyed serving this over rice. You might think with the multiple sources of heat in this dish that it might be too spicy but it’s not ! You get a nice level of heat but still taste the other flavors, especially the ones from the seafood seasoning. The sauce tastes so good that we didn’t want to leave one speck of it behind in the skillet ! If we did one thing differently next time we make this, it’d be taking the tail shells off the shrimp so you can really dig in as soon as you get yourself a helping. If you’re a fan of shrimp and crawfish, you’re gonna love this delicious etouffe !

This recipe came from Allrecipes.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Crystal, Chef Paul Prudhomme Seafood Magic Seasoning Blends, or Allrecipes.

Take care everybody !

Valentine’s Day Compilation

Hey everybody, we thought out of all the recipes we’ve posted, these were the ones that’d be great to serve on Valentine’s Day:

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Crawfish Veronica

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Mushroom Ragoût with cheese ravioli

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Poblano Cream Pasta with Shrimp

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Raspberry Swirled Cheesecake Pie

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Red Velvet Hot Cocoa

These are just suggestions though for what to fix on Valentine’s Day. You never have to stick to the classic Valentine’s Day food. If you and your loved one want to eat something like pizza tomorrow, then you enjoy eating you some pizza !

Take care everybody !