Category Archives: Comfort Food

Shady Grove’s Tortilla Crusted Queso Catfish

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This is one of my favorite comfort food dishes! After moving quite a ways away from Shady Grove in Austin- Evan and I started making our own (about once or twice a year). If you can’t make it there this should cure your craving!

 

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It’s worth the work! Trust me on this… Just make sure you go for a longggg walk before you have it so you don’t feel too guilty 😉

 

Prep Time:  30min

Cook Time: 10-12 min per batch of fish

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1oz Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 4  5-6oz Fish Filets, you can use catfish or cod, we like both. Cod is really nice and substantial for frying…
  • 2.5 C. Flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • 2.5 C. Buttermilk Full Fat
  • 2.5 C. Corn Tortilla Strips, sliced thin.
  • Peanut Oil for Frying
  • 6 oz Chili Con Queso, I like to make a green chili variety.
  • 4 oz Pico de Gallo
  • Lime Wedges to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Dip each fish fillet in the lemon juice mixture. Dredge fish in seasoned flour, followed by buttermilk, and then corn tortilla flakes to coat completely.
  2. *I make the hubby my Fry Daddy, and usually request him to do it outside… 🙂 Pour peanut oil into a large, deep saute pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. When oil is hot, carefully add fish fillets to pan, in batches if necessary, and deep-fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  3. Place a drizzle of queso on top of each fried fish. Then top with pico de gallo on top of the fish. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Enjoy!

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Outer Spice Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Spread

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You are going to LOVE this spread, it’s super simple to make and so delicious!!! It’s good on crackers, veggies, or toast. Bring this to a party or event and people will love you… seriously be prepared to make it over and over.

The highlight of this recipe is the Outer Spice Seasoning, it’s amazing and I have been having fun playing around with it ever since I got a bottle of the Original Blend. So far it’s great in this dip, chicken, and shrimp. I think it might just be good on ANYTHING… 🙂

Outer Spice is a locally owned business from Austin Texas that makes blends from the finest, quality ingredients that they hand select themselves, from around the world. They combine fresh herbs and spices in small artisan batches to create the most versatile combination of flavors. Their  products are all-natural, Gluten- free, rich in antioxidants and have NO MSG!  They are also Fair Trade, doing business with farmers and traders that practice Fair Trade!!! My kind of company! 

So many spice blends out there have MSG in them, beware of it’s full name:  monosodium glutamate, it’s bad stuff! You can rest assured of the quality behind this blend. 

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Prep Time: 35 – 45 min

Cook Time: 35-45 min

Makes: Approx 1 1/2 Cups of spread.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Farm Goat Cheese
  • 3 Garlic Bulbs
  • 1 TBS Outer Spice Original or more to taste.
  • Oil (you can use olive, coconut, whatever you prefer).
  • Foil

Instructions:

  • Preheat Oven to 375 F.
  •  Cut tops of garlic bulbs and add a little oil to the tops.
  • Wrap in foil and I place in the oven for 35-45 min or until golden.
  • Let cool when done or use paper towel to handle as you squeeze out roasted garlic cloves. Watch for bits of the outer layers.
  • Mix goat cheese, garlic, and Outer Spice.
  • ENJOY with friends and family!

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Bison and Hatch Chili Shepherd’s Pie = Veggie Overload

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I’m on a Hatch Chili kick as you can see. Here’s another good and wholesome unprocessed meal that’s gluten, GMO, and dairy free that has hatch chilies!!!   Unlike your typical shepherd’s pie, I used cauliflower in place of potatoes and threw a sprinkle of bacon on top since everything is better with a little bacon!

Pie

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 25-35 min

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb Bison, ground
  • 2 Cups Mixed Organic Squash
  • 1 Cup Organic Carrots
  • 1/2 Cup Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Tomatoes
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 2 Hot Roasted Hatch Chilies
  • 2 Slices of Cooked Bacon (Nitrate and preservative free), chopped.
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (you can use lite if you’d like).
  • 1/2 Cup No Sodium Beef or Bison Broth
  • Celtic Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 Head of Cauliflower

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown meat with onion and garlic until brown, once brown add stock and all veggies EXCEPT cauliflower and 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper. Cook for 15 min on low to simmer.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  2. While Mixture is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook cauliflower until done. Blend/pulse in a blender with 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk and add salt to taste.  (Think mashed potatoes)!  (You can add butter if you would like here, like a TBS).
  3. In a medium casserole and meat and veggie mixture and top with cauliflower puree, spread evenly. Top with bacon.
  4. Save to bake later: Wrap with foil and place in fridge.  When you are ready to re-heat heat oven to 350F and cook for 25 -35 min or until hot in middle.
  5. If you are cooking right away heat oven to 350 F and cook for 10-15 min.

Enjoy!

Top of Pie

Hatch Chili and Sweet Potato : Chicken Enchiladas

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This is a fun spin on chicken enchiladas and if you are looking to eliminate processed/GMO foods (like corn tortillas) you will love this. This is  ALMOST a dairy free version and can easily be dairy free with one tweak., don’t add the cheese 🙂  It’s also gluten free.

I’m in love with hatch chilies and I always look forward to August when they come out!

The sweet potato gives these enchiladas a nice texture and the slight sweetness goes great as a replacement for corn tortillas. Give it a try and let me know how it goes 🙂

Sweet Pot Enchiladas

Prep: 30 min

Cook Time: 15-30 min

Makes: 7 enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breast, cooked and shredded. Get pasture raised chickens.
  • 3 Hot Roasted Hatch Chilies and 3 Mild Roasted Hatch Chilies, remove the top.
  • 1 Organic Purple Onion, small (about 1/4 Cup).
  • 1 Organic White Onion, small (about 1/4 Cup).
  • 2 Cloves of Wild Garlic
  • 1/2 C. Organic Coconut Milk (you can use lite if you would like).
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Celtic Salt.
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 or 2* Organic Sweet Potato, sliced thinly long ways on mandolin.
  • 1 Teaspoon of organic coconut oil for baking dish.
  • OPTIONAL: Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese (Grass Fed Cow Cheese) for topping the enchiladas if you desire.

Instructions:

  1. Blend up hatch chilies, onions, garlic, coconut milk, and spices in a blender until consistency of salsa.
  2. Cook on med / low for 25 min.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add sliced sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook for 6 min. Drain and set aside.
  4. Reserve 1/2 Cup of hatch chili salsa. Mix chicken into the remaining large portion of salsa.
  5. In a large baking dish smear the coconut oil down and lay down 7 or the 14 sweet potato slices (I broke some while slicing so I just placed them back together).  *If you want them all to be “perfect” you may get 2 sweet potatoes to have reserves just in case…
  6. Add chicken and salsa mixture to each potato and top with another slice of potato. Once you are done take the reserved salsa and put a little bit on the top of each potato enchilada then sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Either reserve dish to bake later or bake NOW at 300 F for 15-20 min.
  8. If you are waiting for later, heat oven to 375 F and bake for 30 min or until warm all the way through.

Yum

Bison Spaghetti (Squash) and Meatballs

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You will LOVE this spin on an old favorite.  The spaghetti squash is a delicious substitute for pasta and much healthier for you.  It’s worth the work, I promise!

My goal is to make more sustainable meals that are healthy and promote a balance of nutrients from whole foods, free range and/or wild animals, and organic vegetables.  🙂 This meal happens to be gluten free and follows the “Paleo Diet” theme of you’re into that kind of thing.

Squash

Prep Time:  1 hr (Includes cooking squash)

Cook Time:  1hr

Serves: 3-4 (depending on how big your squash is). You can always make two just in case.  You will have plenty of sauce and meatballs for 4 though.

Bison Meatballs:

  • 1lb Grass Fed Bison
  • 2 TBS Basil and Pine Nut Pesto (I make my own but you can buy at the store).
  • 1/4 C. Chopped White Onion
  • 1 tsp. Wild Garlic (you can sub regular garlic if need be).
  • 1 Egg White, Cage Free
  • 1 tsp. Celtic Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
  1. Mix well and form into 20 small meatballs.
  2. Cook in 1 tsp. of coconut oil until browned and mostly done.
  3. Reserve in separate bowl.

Sauce: 

  • 26.46 oz Chopped Tomatoes,  I use Pomi brand for ease of use and it’s not from a BPA can.
  • 1 C.  White or Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 C. White Onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  1. Take same pan meatballs were cooked in (a braiser or dutch oven works well) and add mushrooms and onion. Cook for 1 min.
  2. Empty tomatoes into mixture and scrape the bits of the pans from cooking meatballs. (This is great for flavor).
  3. Add spices. Simmer for 15 min.
  4. Add meatballs back in and simmer for 25 more min.

Spaghetti Squash:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash, halved longways.
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
  • Water
  1. Preheat Oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large glass pan add 1/2 inch of water and a tsp of coconut oil.
  3. Place squash cut side down in water.
  4. Bake for 30-35 min or until tender.
  5. Scrape with fork across the squash ( it will look like spaghetti).

Serve meatballs on top of spaghetti squash! 🙂

Sauce

Kimchi and Bulgogi Pizza

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I know what you’re thinking…. GROSS.  It’s actually a very good pizza! I promise…

Since we’ve moved into the new house we haven’t made as as many pies as we used to. I guess we are still getting used to the space 🙂 This one was AWESOME!

Kimchi Pie

Prep: 1 hr

Cook Time: 20-25 min

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Kimchi (drained of liquid, pres with paper towel).
  • 1/3 lb Sirloin sliced thinly (helps to freeze slightly before slicing).
  • 1 Cup  Rough cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup Green onion
  • 10 oz Mozzarella cheese, (I use slices of fresh mozz).
  • 1/2 Cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 Cup Ponzu sauce
  • 1 TBS Fish sauce
  • 1/4 C. Sirracha

Crust/Dough

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) Package active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water (may need more)
  • 1 TBS. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp Sesame oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups Bread flour

Instructions For Dough:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes. If making 2 pies split dough into 2 balls. Knead until the edges of bowl are clean, this may take more flour or more water.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down each ball.
  8. Roll out dough as you like and place on your cooking surface. (stone, tin, pan, etc.)
  9. Par Bake for 5 min if crispy crust is desired…

Pizza Instructions:

  1. Marinate sirloin in fish sauce and ponzu for 1 hr. Then cook in skillet until browned and done.
  2. Once dough is ready. (Par baking is optimal), spread a very thin layer of Sirracha on pie, then add mozzarella, cooked sirloin, then cheddar cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10-15 min.
  3. Add drained kimchi, cilantro, and green onion to top of pie.
  4. Enjoy!

Asian Style Chicken and Rice

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Prep: 20 min

Cook Time: 1-1.5 hrs

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (fryer works well), about 3.5 lbs
  • .5 Cup Dried dates, chopped roughly (pitted)
  • .5 Cup Roasted peanuts
  • 1 Cup Whole wheat rice
  • 8 Cups Chicken stock
  • 3 Cups water
  • 1/2 Cup ginger, peeled and chopped into inch x inch cubes (remove after cooking)
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, peeled and split in half (remove after cooking)
  • 1/2 Cup Soy sauce, light
  • Cilantro

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix uncooked rice, dates, and peanuts together. Stuff washed chicken with mixture. Tie legs together with twine.
  2. In large pot add broth, water, ginger, and garlic. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add chicken breast down making sure broth and water mixture goes into the cavity where the rice mixture is.  Bring back to a boil.
  4. Reduce to simmer, for 40 min. Flip and cook for at least 20 more min. At and of an hour check rice texture for doneness. Cook longer if needed.
  5. Remove chicken from broth, and set aside. Strain broth and reserve broth adding the soy sauce to it.
  6. Remove rice mixture and quarter chicken to plate serve with a garnish of cilantro and side of broth.

Enjoy cheers!

Random pic! Here’s a cute nursing fawn in our neighbors yard on Cinco De Mayo!

Heart Shaped Ravioli with a Simply Delicious Sauce

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I made this for Evan and I’s 2nd Anniversary in December! It’s a great special occasion dinner recipe and is sure to please! Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

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Prep: 1 hr

Cook: 30 min

Makes: 12 Ravioli

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Ingredients:

Meat or cheese mixture of your choice, meat should be pre-cooked. I used bison.

Dough:

  • 1.5 C. All purpose Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil

Sauce:

  • 2 Cups Chopped tomatoes with juice.
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 TBS Garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 2 TBS Shallots, minced
  • Mushrooms, 1/2 Cup, sliced

Directions:

Dough

In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour and salt. Add eggs 1 at a time and continue to mix. Drizzle in oil and continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, knead the dough until elastic and smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the dough you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with flour. Form the dough into a rectangle and roll it through the pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at its widest setting. Guide the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. *Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue until the machine is at its narrowest setting. The dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick.

Dust the counter and dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta. Use a heart cookie cutter (small) to cut the hearts.

Place a tsp of your meat/cheese mixture of choice on one heart and seal with another heart on top. Seal edges with fork or pastry sealer. Use

Boil in large pot of salted water for about 7 min. Strain.

Sauce:

  • In a large braiser or skillet, heat oil, add shallots and garlic, cook for 1 min until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes and mushrooms, simmer for 20 min.
  • Garnish with basil

Enjoy!

The Best Fried Chicken in the WORLD right from your kitchen!

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We don’t eat fried chicken a whole lot but every once in awhile Evan or I will get a hankering for some good ole fried chicken. Usually when this happens we hit up our “go to” place = Max’s Wine Dive.  It’s always an expensive trip (the wine always gets us damn it…) and it’s quite far from us now that we live out in the boonies. This time we gave it a go at home. It was awesome!

Prep: 24 hrs (if you can wait that long)

Cook Time: 15-17 min per batch

Serves: 4 with sides

Finger Lickin'

Ingredients:

  • 4 Thighs and 4 drums (separated) with the skin on.
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • More salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Blend jalapeno, buttermilk, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor.
  2. In a large glass mixing bowl: add marinade and chicken and cover with plastic wrap, let sit overnight.
  3. Heat peanut oil up in fryer to 325 degrees F.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper to flour.
  5. Take chicken out of marinade and let sit for about 20 min on a baking sheet just to warm them up a bit so the fryer oil doesn’t drop drastically. Pat dry, dredge in flour, then egg wash, then flour again.
  6. Fry pieces in several batches, how many will depend on your fryer’s size. Fry for 15-17 min.
  7. Place on wire rack and keep warm in oven if you are doing several batches.

Serve with cayenne honey and a side of collard greens and a starch 🙂 I did mashed sweet potatoes. Mmmm!

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Crockpot Chicken, Carrots, and Mushrooms with Lentils and Wild Rice

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This a great healthier  week night meal that is easy to set up and can cook in as little as 4 hrs in the crock while you are off at work or running errands.

This is not the greatest photo, but it was late and I was hungry 🙂

Chicken and Lentils

Prep: 10 min
Cook Time: 4-8 hrs
Serves: 4 ish

Ingredients

  • 6-8 organic chicken thighs, remove fat (the ones I had were small so we had 2 each)
  • 2.5 cups no sodium chicken stock ( I like homemade or Kitchen Basics)
  • 1 cup blend of wild rice and lentils (pick your favorite)
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • .5 cup chopped carrots
  • .5 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon thyme
  • .5 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Place stock in pot, add rice, veggies,oil, and herbs: stir.
  2. Add chicken thighs to pot, season lightly with salt and pepper. 
  3. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. ( I do 4 on high)
  4. Serve, salt and pepper to taste.