Recipes

What My Husband Wouldn’t Eat For Dinner Tonight

You guys!  I’m super excited!  I tried a new emeals recipe tonight and it was ah-may-zing! I mean really really good.  Company-worthy.  Shoot, I’d go as far as saying restaurant quality.  Definitely a new favorite in my recipe box.

However, it is a little spicy.  I’m not a big spicy food eater, but I can handle it a little.  Tarzan used it as an excuse not to eat it.  I really didn’t think it was that bad.  I’m not sure there’s a way to make it milder, I think that’s the point of the recipe.

Anyway… here goes:

Spicy Pork Ragu

  • 8 oz rigatoni
  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 24 oz jar of arrabbiata sauce
  • parmesan cheese

I threw the pasta with 4 cups of water in the instant pot, on the manual setting, for 6 minutes.  I know, I know, it’s not that hard to boil pasta.  But, I love using the instant pot, because it frees up my stove space, I don’t have to worry about stirring to keep it from boiling over, it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, etc., etc.  I can just set it and forget it while I work on the rest of the stuff.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high, then cook the pork until no longer pink.  No need to drain!  Dump in the wine and the sauce, cook and stir on medium until the pasta is done.  Drain the pasta, then dump in the pot with the rest of the stuff, stir, and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

This is seriously good stuff.  It’s just something different from your run of the mill pasta dish, the flavors of the wine and the arrabbiata sauce blend so well.  It reminds me of Pasta House’s Shrimp Diablo, which isn’t on the regular menu, but they serve it as a lunch special on Fridays.

I had never even heard of arrabbiata sauce, but I found it at Wal-Mart with the rest of the pasta sauces.  I used the cheapest brand I could find, which turned out to be a Sam’s Choice label.  The recipe actually called for grape tomatoes, but the arrabbiata sauce I purchased had little balls of tomatoes in it already, so I skipped that part.

Someone else needs to try this!

P.S.  The recipe is supposed to serve 6, and comes out to 516 calories a serving.

Recipes

What I Did with 4 Ounces of Rigatoni

So tonight I decided to experiment with my instant pot.

I had leftover Cowboy Chili from last week, and I had about a fourth of a box of rigatoni noodles.  I really hate it when recipes don’t call for a full box of pasta… what are you supposed to do with four ounces of rigatoni noodles?

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and finish up these leftovers.

Since I had made the chili in my instant pot (with the slow cooker feature), it was already in the inner pot from my instant pot.  So I just took a slotted spoon and fished out the stew meat chunks.  Then I dumped the pasta in the chili broth, set the instant pot on 6 minutes using the manual setting, locked the pot and waited to see what would happen.

What happened, was the pasta was cooked perfectly (I chose 6 minutes because that was how long a different recipe I recently called for cooking rigatoni)… and the broth was steaming hot enough so that when I mixed the stew meat back in, it adequately heated the meat, so it was ready to eat as soon as I got it all stirred up!

I thought it was great.  My husband?  He had hamburger helper.  *shrug*

 

Recipes

I Wonder Why They Call it Cowboy Chili?

Well, we survived Snowmageddon.  Got home from work Friday evening and neither one of us left the house again until Sunday.  Over 24 hours of torture marital bliss.

Actually, it wasn’t that bad.  I’ve been sick with my annual Cough That Won’t Go Away.  It was a good excuse to do absolutely nothing.

It was a little unfortunate that I hadn’t made it to the grocery store before the blizzard… we were forced to eat frozen pizza Friday night.  I had a rare hankering for fried chicken and mashed potatoes Saturday.  Tarzan offered to go to the gas station up the road and get me some, but they didn’t have mashed potatoes and I knew that just wouldn’t do.  So instead I had Raisin Bran (Tarzan had a bologna sandwich) and Sunday morning we went to brunch at Ponderosa (which was about as awful as it sounds, but I got the fried chicken thing out of my system anyway).

With all the spare time available, I perused emeals and planned my meals for the week (lunch at work and dinner at home, 6 servings a piece, and given that Tarzan rarely eats My Food… “meal planning” for the week equates to two emeals recipes).  Sunday evening, I mixed up “No-Cook Black Bean Taco Salad” for my lunches, and this morning I put “Cowboy Beef Chili” in the instant pot (using the slow cooker feature, setting the timer to start later in the day).  Both recipes turned out to decent, although I think the Cowboy Beef Chili was more brothy than I would usually want chili… but I do think it would make an exceptional base for vegetable beef soup.

I altered the original recipes a bit:

No-Cook Black Bean Taco Salad

  • 2 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup no fat Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • romaine lettuce

Mix the first 4 ingredients, spoon over lettuce.  (The recipe also called for tortilla chips and avocado, but I skipped the chips in the interest of saving calories.  The avocado would have been a nice touch, but I wouldn’t use a whole avocado in one serving, and it would have just turned brown.)

 

Cowboy Beef Chili

  • 2 lbs stew meat
  • 32 ounce carton of beef broth
  • 2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with seasonings added)
  • 1/4 cup frozen chopped onion*
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin*
  • 1 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

I chopped the semisweet chocolate in my Ninja, it worked great.  I wasn’t sure about chocolate in chili, but while I couldn’t taste the chocolate, the chili had an exceptionally good flavor.  As I mentioned.. it was more soup than chili, I think.  I’ll defintely use this base recipe again someday, but add potatoes and vegetables for a vegetable beef soup.  I think it would be delicious.

*The recipe actually called for 2 cups of chopped onion, and twice the amount of minced garlic, chili powder, and ground cumin.  I tend to be sensitive to all those ingredients, and typically always half those.

So… now you know what I did on my winter break.  😉