patron pickled jalapeños

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my household can’t be without at least one jar of pickled jalapeños in the refrigerator. my husband puts jalapeños on everything. since he eats them so much, we decided it would be fun to make our own. this recipe fills 2 – 8 oz. jars. we cruised some blogs and websites for advice but these are the ingredients we ended up using…

ingredients:

  • about 4 cups of sliced jalapeños (enough to fill the jars)
  • 1/2 cup of sliced carrots (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 halved garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 oz patron tequilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

here are the steps:

  1. slice the jalapeños, garlic and carrots and fill the jars.  IMG_3682IMG_3687
  2. pour the water, tequila and both vinegars into a small sauce pan with the mustard seed, red pepper and salt and bring to a boil.IMG_3689
  3. once the mixture has reached a boil, pour over the jalapeños in the jar.
  4. let the jars and mixture cool down to room temperature and then cover with lids and put in the fridge.
  5. refrigerate for at least 3 days. the jalapeños should last several weeks in the fridge.

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patron pickled jalapeños

roast dinner

it’s starting to get cooler outside so i decided that it was totally and completely necessary for me to start using my slow cooker as much as possible. i decided to kick off the cooler weather with a pot roast. i picked a smaller cut of rump roast since i cook for two people. here it is and boy was it yummy!

Roast Dinner

for the roast:

  1. season meat with salt pepper and toss into the crock pot. this is my slow cooker and i love love love it!
  2. top with a half cup of good red wine…. or a little more- get crazy!  i used petite petit by michael david which is one of my favorite wines.
  3. quarter a few white onions(1-2) , slice up some (4) red potatoes and chop up some carrots (1) and add to the slow cooker.
  4. add a few teaspoons of worcestershire sauce, a few dashes of seasoned salt and some fresh cracked black pepper over the top.
  5. pour some beef broth (6 cups) over the top of the roast until mostly covered.
  6. leave the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or until completely tender. if you are going to be at work all day, leave the slow cooker on “simmer” which is between warm and low on my machine until you get home and then turn up to low for the last hour and a half.

for the potatoes:

  1. boil 2 (serves 2) peeled and chopped potatoes then drain and add to mixing bowl. my grandpa’s tip for mashed potatoes was to have one medium sized potato per person (and add LOTS of butter).
  2. add a third stick of butter, a quarter cup of half and half and a few dollops of sour cream or cream cheese and begin to blend in a mixer.
  3. as the potatoes begin to get creamy, add salt & fresh cracked black pepper.

for the green beans:

  1. i almost always use fresh veggies but this time, i found a can of green beans in my pantry and decided to cook that. i popped open the can, drained and tossed in a sauce pan.
  2. add a quarter cup of water and cook the green beans on low for 5-6 minutes or until hot.
  3. add a few dashes of salt, pepper and serve hot.

don’t forget to spoon the yummy brothy goodness over the meat when served. i hope you enjoy this recipe as well as the wonderful winter weather headed our way for good!

roast dinner

salmon & grilled veggies

i bought some yummy vegetables from the grocery store and prepped them before i went to spin class so that they would all be ready to grill when i got back. from left to right, i chose zucchini, broccolini, bok choy, asparagus and bell peppers. aren’t they pretty?

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i washed them.

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i chopped them up and then threw them on the grill pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper.

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in the meantime, i seasoned the salmon filets with olive oil, salt and pepper. then i threw them in the oven for 15 minutes on 450f.

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next, i took some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a tiny bit of italian seasoning, stirred it up and drizzled a spoonful over the bok choy before i served it.

this was a super quick, easy and healthy dinner. can’t wait to make it again! ta-da!

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salmon & grilled veggies

italian rigatoni & spicy meatballs

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this is one of my favorite easy recipes. you can go all out and make your own marinara sauce or you can use a big short cut and buy your favorite jar of store-bought marinara and enhance.

ingredients for the meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup finely diced onions (optional- i didn’t use them)
  • 2 teaspoons evoo
  • 2 crushed & minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup parmesan reggiano
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat (I used 1/2 pound beef, 1/2 pound veal, 1/2 pound spicy italian sausage)
  • 1 cup italian breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

directions for meatballs:

  1. begin by heating up the extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan. add garlic and the onion. cook until soft.
  2. preheat oven to 350 f.
  3. mix the meats, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, salt, water and red pepper flakes.
  4. sear meatballs for a few minutes in a pan just to brown the outside.
  5. finish cooking the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes.

ingredients for assembly:

  • cooked rigatoni pasta
  • 2 table spoons of evoo
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • parmesan to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • fresh chopped italian parsley to garnish

for the assembly:

  1. cook rigatoni according to package.
  2. heat extra virgin olive oil in large sauce pan. my favorite is the le creuset “every day pan.”
  3. add crushed garlic, salt, italian seasoning and any other spices that you’d like until browned.
  4. add your favorite jar of marinara sauce and mix together.
  5. add cooked rigatoni.
  6. add mozzarella, parmesan, and meatballs. mix together.
  7. bake in oven for 2 minutes.
  8. top with italian parsley garnish and serve.

enjoy!

italian rigatoni & spicy meatballs

thursday night steaks

For some reason, I usually want to cook a big meal on Thursday nights. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s super close to the weekend. Last Thursday, I decided to pick up a couple of dry aged steaks from our neighborhood HEB. When I got home, I soaked them in a marinade made with a few cups of a nice Cabernet Sauvignon, a few dashes or Worchester sauce, a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, salt, fresh cracked black pepper and a tiny bit of garlic salt. This is my own version of my Dad’s steak recipe. His steaks are my favorite! Then I grilled them on my favorite grill pan until they were medium rare. I added the rest of the red wine marinade into a small sauce pan and boiled it down to a thicker sauce then spooned it across the steak.

steak

I decided to boil some corn on the cob and top with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil. We don’t have corn on the cob very much, but I was feeling nostalgic and the corn on the cob reminded me of childhood weekends in the hill country.

Along with the steak and corn, I decided to make a little medley of vegetables. I added a little bit of olive oil to a sauté pan and then added some snap peas, kale and shaved brussels sprouts. I sprinkled in some of my favorite garlic vinaigrette for a tangy flavor, added some crushed black pepper and topped with a few shavings of some salty pecorino cheese. Yummy!

thursday night steaks

Cacio E Pepe

Getting home late after a long day, sometimes all I want is a simple pasta. Simple, but delicious, this dish has many dimensions. The saltiness of the pecorino and parmesan contrasts the cracked black pepper and the butter makes it super smooth to taste.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 oz pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup pecorino
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Boil 6 oz. of any type of pasta that you prefer in salty water. I prefer angel hair pasta or even capellini, but you can use whatever you prefer. You can adjust this pasta recipe to a smaller portion if you are just making for one person.
  2. Drain pasta and rinse quickly with cold water. Drop a few teaspoons of butter and let it melt down.
  3. Using a Microplane, grate a 1/3  cup each fresh parmasean and pecorino. If you only have parmesan, you can just use that as well. Pour into the pasta and toss.
  4. Add about a teaspoon or two of fresh cracked black pepper and toss. It may seem like a lot, but the pepper adds a lot of flavor and the more, the better!
  5. Ta-da!

If you’d like to make this a full meal, you can top it with pretty much anything. In the picture below, I roasted an herb coated pork tenderloin, sliced and served over the pasta and then drizzled a homemade pesto oil over it all. It was so yummy and can be used in so many different ways. Try tossing in some lemon, oil and shrimp!IMG_0632

I like to think of this as an adult version of ramen noodles. Enjoy!

Cacio E Pepe