Escaping the cold is always a great idea …boarding a jet plane, landing in paradise with sunshine , and being handed a drink with a tiny umbrella. Yep, sounds totally amazing!
How about escaping our winter comfort foods? Cooking with Latin flavors reminds me of the beach, and our tiny umbrella is the lime. The kids just ate two tacos each, so these are definitely a favorite in our house!
Here is the recipe…
Chili Lime Pork Tacos
1.5 lb. boneless pork ribs (cut off extra fat)
1/4 cup Lime juice – 2 squeezed limes
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Fresh lime wedges
Cilantro, finely chopped
Add lime juice in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk in chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic.
Add pork to a large Ziploc bag, pour in marinade.
Refrigerate 6-24 hours.
Add contents and chicken stock to a baking dish.
Bake 300 degrees for 3-4 hours until ribs are tender and start falling apart when touched with a fork. Add liquid as needed.
Let stand for 5 minutes and shred pork.
Add pork and toppings to the tortilla shell or make a salad, squeeze lime wedges.
Show winter who is boss with a big pot of hot soup! I think of this soup as a vegetable soup but somehow adding peas automatically makes it…Sicilian Split Pea Soup!
Maybe it is because we rarely add peas to soup. Because they get super mushy, yes. The fix? Add the peas last or start with dehydrated split peas. The broth base can be chicken stock, bouillon, or this recipe can easily be made into a vegetarian recipe. I didn’t have one on hand, but a ham bone is traditionally put in the stock for even more depth of flavor. Stay warm! Enjoy!
Here is the recipe…
Sicilian Split Pea Soup
4-6 cups of your favorite chicken stock
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 celery stalks, diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. ditalini/tubetti pasta
12 oz. peas/ 3/4 cup dehydrated split peas (soaked overnight)
salt/pepper to taste
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.
Add onion and shallot, cook until soft.
Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add carrots and celery and cook for 20-30 minutes until softened.
Season with rosemary, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper.
Boil water in another pot and cook pasta until slightly under, al dente.
Drain and return pasta to the pot, adding 2 ladles of soup broth to keep it from sticking.
If adding cooked peas add them last.
Add 1/4 cup of noodles to a soup bowl.
Pour over 1-2 ladles of soup.
Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese and serve hot with a crusty bread.
A stuffy head, sore throat, and 10 degrees high temperature calls for some tea! I am typically not a tea drinker, but I was looking for relief coupled with enjoyable flavors. The grapefruit component adds a sense of being full. Perfect for someone looking to curb extra snacking while being stuck indoors. I added some coconut oil because it has wonderful antibacterial, antifungal, and anitmicrobial properties. We don’t have time to get sick!
It is 9am or I would totally add a shot of bourbon to this amazingly delicious, flavorful warmup!
Here is the recipe…
Spiced Hot Grapefruit Tea
1 cup water
1 grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
2 cinnamon sticks
A Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. coconut oil
(honey, sliced grapefruit, cinnamon stick for garnish)
Heat water and grapefruit juice with cinnamon sticks, cayenne pepper, and cloves.
Submerge teabag or your favorite loose leaf tea preparation and let steep for 4 minutes.
Add honey to taste, coconut oil, sliced grapefruit and a cinnamon stick for garnish.
Feel like a Hot Toddy? Add a shot of bourbon!
Winter Pittsburgh Restaurant Week is upon us. January 11-17.During the week, I make a point to dine at a restaurant that I have never been to before, get out of my comfort zone, and try something new! This time I chose a Brazilian restaurant that has been around for 15 years. How did I not know about this place? Probably because the trip entails two tunnels and multiple bridges! You naaugh how we Pittsburghers are about tunnels and bridges ‘n at!
For a unique dining experience call…Green Forest Churrascaria, totally worth the trip! Here is the basic info, all you can eat meat, a great wine list, and a “salad bar,” that’s anything but salad! The battle is between the multitude of delectable seafood options versus the meat! Unfortunately, one can only eat so much!
The most important thing to know here is green means more meat and red means taking a break!
My favorite meat was the chimmichurri sirloin. Perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth, with a little kick!
The meats continued with prime rib, pork belly, bacon wrapped filet, Skirt steak, pork tenderloin, leg of lamb, and many more!
And if you have any room …
Support a locally owned Pittsburgh restaurant and try something totally new! Green Forest’s restaurant week price is $35.16!
Green Forest Churrascaria
655 Rodi Road
Beef stroganoff is a mix of sautéed onions mushrooms and tender beef finished with sour cream. Usually served over buttered noodles, traditional Russian stroganoff is served over mashed potatoes or rice. Definitely a true comfort food, the stew-like dish warms the belly… and the heart.
The trick to stroganoff is creating tender bites of meat. This recipe uses the “london broil” method instead of a braised beef top round, which I find to be too tough.
Other options are beef tenderloin or a sirloin steak cut into 2 inch strips. I finish the meat in red wine to tenderize and add flavor. Red wine softens the meat’s muscle fibers creating a juicy, tender bite.
Here is the recipe…
2 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 8oz. Packages of button mushrooms, sliced (or any of your favorite mushrooms)
2 lbs. “London broil” labeled beef or Beef tenderloin filet
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef stock
3/4-1 cup sour cream, add until desired richness
Preheat oven on high broil.
Heat butter in a pan.
Add sliced onions and cook until soft.
Add mushrooms, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Mix all together and sauté 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Salt and pepper steak and broil 4-5 minutes per side until slightly under medium rare in the center.
Let stand for 10 minutes and slice against the grain.
Meanwhile, boil water and cook orzo according to package.
Add wine and stock to pan to heat placing meat in the middle to absorb flavors, tenderize, and finish off to desired doneness.
Add mushrooms and onions and mix well.
Remove from heat and add sour cream and stir until creamy.
Serve stroganoff over orzo.