Kate's Cuisine

May 20 2015

White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean Chicken Chili

I’ve never been a girly-girl easily grossed out by stuff, especially food stuff. So sticking my hand into a huge bowl of raw meat has never been a big deal. But I will tell you that ground chicken is not like other grounds meats. Unlike beef, and even turkey, ground chicken is not for the faint of heart. It kind of smooshes together and becomes a big glob of raw grossness. It sticks to your hands and kind of plops down into the pot, like little blobs of slimy pink play-dough. It’s not pleasant.

That being said, once it’s in the pot and starts cooking, it does separate and doesn’t have any of that off-putting aroma that ground turkey sometimes has when it cooks. And when you add all the other ingredients to the pot to make this fantastic chicken chili, well there’s really nothing quite like it. I had never thought that chili was something you could change all that much. But when you use a different kind of meat, stock instead of stewed tomatoes, and add a couple handfuls of fresh greens, you might just end up with my new favourite chili.

2 tablespoons olive oil $0.06
1 large onion, chopped $0.47
4 cloves garlic, minced $0.04
2 pounds ground chicken $14.74
1 teaspoon salt $0.01
2 tablespoons ground cumin $0.50
1 tablespoon fennel seeds $0.30
1 tablespoon dried oregano $0.30
2 teaspoons chili powder $0.47
3 tablespoons flour $0.03
2 cans (15 oz.) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained $2.38
1 bunch baby spinach $1.99
2 ears of fresh corn, shucked with kernels removed $2.00
4 cups chicken stock $2.00
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes $0.05
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish $1.49
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish $0.07

Total cost $26.90
Cost per serving $3.36

1.) Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

2.) Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently to break up the chicken, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

3.) Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do to release brown bits. When boiling turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

4.) Add the spinach and the red pepper flakes, stir, and continue simmering for another 20 minutes or so, until all the flavours have blended and the spinach has wilted. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

5.) Ladle the chili into serving bowls and sprinkle each serving with some Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

May 12 2015

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans

If candying nuts is something you’ve never done, it’s something I strongly suggest you try. All it takes is three ingredients.

You can use whatever nuts you like best, and then use them to garnish salads, add a little extra sweetness to banana bread, or just put out as a bowl of munchies when entertaining. The only thing that can go wrong here is that the nuts burn, because it can happen extremely quickly. So keep an eye on the pan and make sure you take it off the heat as soon as all of that sugar is melted.

2 cups pecans, chopped $6.49
4 tablespoons butter $0.24
4 tablespoons brown sugar $0.80

Total cost $7.53

1.) Melt the butter in a frying pan set over medium heat. When fully melted, add the pecans and toss to completely coat in the butter.Stir just until everything in the pan becomes hot.

2.) Add the sugar and stir to distribute throughout the pan. Melt and then stir quickly to make sure the pecans are fully coated in the sugar and butter mixture. Then remove from heat immediately.

3.) Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread the pecans out in a single layer to cool and let the mixture set.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

May 11 2015

The Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club was one of my favourite movies growing up. After my sister and I watched it for the thousandth and then the millionth time, we would actually recreate scenes in our living room, pretending to be Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. This Breakfast Club is a bit different than both the film and our Oscar-worthy recreations, but feel free to recite lines from the movie while you’re assembling this breakfast sandwich. I know I couldn’t help singing “(Don’t You) Forget About Me“.

  • 3 pieces of rye bread $0.44
  • 1 tablespoon of butter $0.06
  • 2 eggs $0.40
  • 3 slices of bacon $0.90
  • 2 thin slices of Cheddar cheese $0.24
  • 3 thin slices of tomato $0.09
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $2.15

1.) Toast the three slices of rye bread and butter.

2.) Place 3 pieces of bacon in a frying pan set over medium heat and fry until crispy. Then move to paper towels to drain.

3.) Place the frying pan back over medium heat and carefully add them to the pan, leaving whole. You’re going to cook the eggs to over-hard so cook for about 4 minutes on one side, until the bottoms are fully set and the top of the white is just beginning to set. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the yolks are fully cooked. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

4.) Assemble the breakfast club. On one piece of rye, butter-side up, place the tomato slices, lightly seasoning them with salt and pepper. Place another piece of rye on top of the tomatoes and then add the cheese, the eggs, and the bacon. Top with the last piece of rye bread, butter-side down.

5.) Cut the sandwich in half, then serve and enjoy!

May 09 2015

Fanned Potatoes

Fanned Potatoes

There’s a certain frustration that comes with taking the time to cook something, only to find out afterwards that what you cooked wasn’t really what you thought you cooked at all. It’s like thinking that you’re making beef bourguignon, only to find out later that because you didn’t use any red wine, you simply made beef stew. That’s what happened with these fanned potatoes, which I thought going in were Hasselback potatoes.

Hasselback potatoes are a Swedish dish that include roasting and boiling, dotting the potatoes with butter and stuffing herbs and spices inside. These fanned potatoes are a bit simpler but still got lots of compliments around the table. And while they might not be Hasselbacks, the recipe was one of many  magazine recipe cards that my grandma stuffed into my bags the first time I moved away from home, and I’d say that counts for so much more.

  • 6 – 8 medium-sized waxy (not starchy) potatoes $1.47
  • 3 tablespoons butter $0.18
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil $0.06
  • Butter and sour cream for serving, optional $1.10
  • Salt $0.01

Total cost $2.82
Cost per serving $0.70

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Working with one potato at a time, cut small slits across the top of them at about 3mm or one-eighth of an inch apart. Make sure that the slits you cut are deep enough to almost go through entirely through the potato, but not completely.

2.) In an iron skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. When hot, add the potatoes, cut-side down, and turn to entirely coat in fat. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes on one side, spooning the fat over them regularly. Then turn and cook, cut-side up, for another 5 – 7 minutes, spooning the fat over them as you do.

3.) Sprinkle each potato with salt and place the entire pan into the oven. Cook for about an hour and 10 minutes, until the inside of the fanned portions are fork-tender.

4.) Top with a dollop of butter and/or sour cream if using and serve and enjoy!

May 08 2015

Dirty Rice with Smoked Sausage

Dirty Rice

Dirty rice is a Creole dish that along with green bell peppers, onions, and celery, also traditionally includes chicken livers. Being fresh out of organ meat but having plenty of smoked sausage in my fridge, I decided to go this route instead. This was also the first foray into dirty rice for me and the girls, so I wanted to make sure the experience was a good one for all of us and I thought they might turn their little noses up to liver. This version was very good, and I might just try to hunt down some chicken livers so I can throw them into the pot next time. It’s also those chicken livers that are said to turn the rice from white to a dirty colour, hence the name.

2 cups long grain white rice $0.56
4 cups chicken stock $2.00
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 $0.18
1 tablespoon vegetable oil $0.02
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced $2.83
1 clove garlic, minced $0.01
1 large onion, chopped $0.47
1 stalk celery, chopped $0.18
1 green bell pepper, chopped $0.57
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper $0.12
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped $0.10
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01

Total cost $7.06
Cost per serving $1.76

1.) Place rice in a saucepan with the chicken stock. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and a generous pinch of salt. Cover and place over high heat, bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and let cook until all the stock has been absorbed. Then remove lid and fluff with a fork.

2.) While the rice is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. When melted and hot, add the onion, celery, and green pepper. Stir to coat everything in the fat, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the smoked sausage and stir. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the sausage begins to crisp. Add the garlic, cayenne pepper before stirring and cooking for another minute or two.

3.) Add the rice and stir to fully mix all ingredients. Cook everything together for about 5 minutes to marry the flavours.

4.) Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

May 05 2015

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

I’ll be the first to admit that these short ribs probably aren’t going to be the fanciest thing you’ll ever serve. But when you need to get something on the table, even when you’re not there, short ribs just happen to be one of those cuts that cook beautifully in the slow cooker. Once the ribs are cooked you can take them out of the slow cooker, strain the sauce into a saucepan, and boil on high for about 10 minutes until it’s reduced by half. As I wasn’t home at the end of cook time, and hubby’s idea of cooking is taking the ribs out of the slow cooker, that wasn’t done here but I was told the ribs were very good on their own. And with none left when I got home, they must have been.

  • 4 beef short ribs (about 3 pounds) $14.85
  • 1/3 cup flour $0.47
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper $0.01
  • 1/4 cup butter $0.22
  • 1 onion, chopped $0.47
  • 1 cup beef broth $1.00
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar $0.66
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar $0.15
  • 1/4 cup ketchup $0.19
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.02
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder $0.37

Total cost $18.42
Cost per serving $4.60

1.) Place flour, salt and pepper in a shallow casserole dish and combine thoroughly. Add ribs and turn to coat.

2.) Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter starts to foam, remove short ribs from flour, shake off excess, and add them to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, until they are nicely seared and beginning to brown on all sides. As the short ribs brown, transfer them to a slow cooker.

3.) Place all remaining ingredients into the same skillet that browned the ribs, turn heat to high, and bring to a rapid boil. Pour mixture over short ribs.

4.) Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high for 4 – 6 hours, until the short ribs are tender and nearly falling off the bone.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

May 03 2015

Smoked Sausages with Horseradish Cream and Onion Strings

Smoked Sausages

There’s far more to sausage toppings than ketchup and mustard. And when it comes to grilling sausages on the barbecue, you can cut the cooking time to just a fraction that you’d need for using fresh, because the entire thing is already fully cooked. All you’re really doing is getting those beautiful grill marks on it and heating it through. When they’re ready, top it with this quick horseradish cream and some crispy onion strings, and you’ll see just how beautiful it can be when you step outside of the ketchup and mustard box.

6 smoked sausages $5.66
6 sausage buns $3.99
1 recipe of onion strings $1.47
1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.50
3 tablespoons horseradish $0.37
2 teaspoons white vinegar $0.02
1/2 teaspoon salt $0.01
1/2 teaspoon sugar $0.01

Total cost $12.03
Cost per serving $3.00

1.) Preheat an outdoor grill. Close the lid, turn the burners to high, and let heat for about 5 minutes. Lift the lid, scrape the grates clean with a wire brush, and turn burners to medium. Score the sausages and place them on the grill. Cook for about 10 minutes with the lid closed, turning the sausages occasionally.

2.) While the sausages are cooking, make the horseradish cream. Place the mayonnaise, horseradish, white vinegar, salt, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl and mix to thoroughly combine.

3.) Once the sausages are cooked, place one into each sausage bun. Top with horseradish cream and onion strings.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

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