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  • Southwest Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing with Avocado

    How to make Southwest Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing with Avocado

    Yield: 6 servings

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes


    For the jalapeno cornbread:

    2 large eggs
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

    For the stuffing:

    1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo (casings removed)
    1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
    1 celery stalk, finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, preferably fire-roasted
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

    For the topping:

    2 fresh Avocados from Mexico, peeled, diced, and divided
    1/4 cup sour cream


    Make the cornbread:

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl beat the eggs then whisk in the buttermilk.

    In a large bowl whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the melted butter and jalapeno peppers.

    Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake until the top is golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan, about 25 minutes. Cool the corn bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning the bread out onto the rack to cool completely. Dice into medium cubes. If time permits, let the diced corn bread sit out for up to a day before making the stuffing.

    Make the stuffing:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a clean 8 by 8-inch baking pan or similarly shaped 2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

    Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the chorizo. Cook, breaking it up, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned and are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cilantro and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    In a large bowl toss the diced cornbread with the egg and chicken stock. Add the chorizo mixture and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Make ahead: Stuffing can be assembled without the stock and egg 4 hours ahead and kept, loosely covered, at room temperature. Toss in the egg and stock just before baking.

    Bake until heated through and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

    Make the topping:

    Just before the stuffing is done baking, puree 1 diced avocado with the sour cream with a blender, food processor, or immersion blender until very smooth.

    Drizzle the avocado sour cream mixture all over the baked stuffing. Top with the remaining diced avocado and serve immediately.

  • Mini Calzones

    How to make Mini Calzones

    Yield: 8 calzones

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes


    1 (16 ounce) ball pizza dough, homemade or store bought
    6 ounces (about 6 slices) provolone, cut into small squares
    3 ounces salami, cut into small squares
    2/3 cup ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk
    ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    Ground black pepper, to taste
    1 large egg
    Marinara sauce, warmed, for serving


    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    For the dough:

    Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let stand while you make the filling.

    For the filling:

    In a medium bowl combine the provolone, salami, ricotta, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste until combined.

    To assemble:

    In a small bowl beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water.

    Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, press the ball into a flat disk then use a rolling pin to roll it into a 6-inch round with an 1/8-inch thickness. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture on one half of the round then fold over to form a half moon shape, pressing the edge to seal. Crimp the edge with a fork and place back on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash before repeating with the remaining dough.

    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve alongside warm marinara sauce for dipping.

    To make ahead:

    Allow the baked calzones to cool completely then tightly wrap each individually in plastic wrap. Transfer to a plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. To bake from frozen, place on a baking sheet in a 400°F for about 30 minutes, or until heated through.

  • Pumpkin and Sausage Stuffed Shells

    How to make Pumpkin and Sausage Stuffed Shells

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 12 minutes


    20 jumbo pasta shells (about 6 ounces)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    2/3 cup pumpkin puree
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (or 3 cups homemade)


    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet to cool completely.

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the skillet and brown, breaking up into small pieces, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and let cool completely.

    In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, pumpkin, egg, Parmesan, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cooked sausage.

    Spread two thirds of the marinara in the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Fill each shell with the sausage-cheese mixture and arrange in the baking dish. Pour the remaining marinara over the shells. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until bubbling.

    Let cool for 5 minutes before garnishing with additional Parmesan cheese serving.

  • 50+ Easy Meals
  • Slow Cooker Beer Pulled Pork

    How to make Slow Cooker Beer Pulled Pork

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 6 hours 20 minutes


    1 (3.5 pound) boneless pork butt roast
    1 large onion, sliced
    12 ounces beer, such as a dark ale
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    For BBQ Sandwiches:

    2 cups barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
    Sandwich or slider buns
    Toppings of your choice such as onions, pickles


    Place the roast and onion in a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker. Pour in the beer. Add the soy sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, or until fork tender. Time will vary by slow cooker.

    Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Using two forks, pull the meat apart into shreds, discarding any fat. Strain the onions, reserving 1 cup of the liquid. Return the shredded pork, onions, and reserved liquid to the slow cooker. Serve or make BBQ sandwiches.

    For BBQ Sandwiches:

    Stir in the barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, or until heated through.

    Serve on sandwiches between buns with toppings of your choice.

  • Sausage Potato Bake

    How to make Sausage Potato Bake

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes

    I prefer to make this dish in a large shallow sheet pan to allow everything to get nice and caramelized. You could also bake this in a deeper, smaller dish if you don’t want the caramelized result.


    1 pound mild or hot pork sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
    6 red new potatoes, quartered
    1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 large onion, sliced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
    1 teaspoon tried thyme leaves
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


    Preheat the oven to 425°F.

    Combine all of the ingredients in a large rimmed baking dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through, the vegetables are tender, and everything is beginning to brown. Divide among four plates.

  • Copycat Swedish Meatballs

    How to make Copycat Swedish Meatballs

    Yield: 4 to 6 servings

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 50 minutes


    For the meatballs:
    2 slices white bread
    1/4 cup milk
    3 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, divided
    1 small onion, diced
    1 pound ground beef
    1 pound ground pork
    2 large egg yolks
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    For the gravy:
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    4 cups beef broth
    3/4 cup sour cream
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley


    Place the bread and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Let sit until the bread has absorbed the milk, about 5 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

    Add the cooled onion, beef, pork, egg yolks, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the bread and milk. Beat on medium speed until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes.

    With a medium spring loaded scoop, shape the mixture into 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls. Roll the balls between your palms to smooth, wetting your hands if the mixture is sticking.

    Wipe the frying pan clean with a paper towel. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add half the meatballs and fry, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and almost cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a dish and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

    Turn the heat to low and add the flour to the pan drippings. Whisk until lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the beef stock, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture thickens and is lump-free, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the meatballs in the sauce and simmer until cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

  • Parmesan Breaded Pork

    How to make Parmesan Breaded Pork

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 21 minutes

    Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb found in most grocery stores. You can use plain breadcrumbs if you don’t have panko.


    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    2 large eggs
    1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    4 (1/4-inch thick) pork cutlets
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    Lemon wedges


    Place the flour on a plate. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and salt in another shallow plate.

    Dredge each pork cutlet in the flour, shaking to remove excess flour. Dip the pork cutlets in the eggs. Coat the pork cutlets in the breadcrumb mixture, using your fingers to press the breadcrumbs into the pork evenly.

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the breaded pork cutlets and fry for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges.

  • The Best Bolognese Sauce

    How to make The Best Bolognese Sauce

    Yield: 9 cups of sauce or 4-6 servings

    *If you don't have a food mill to crush the tomatoes, use a blender or immersion blender. Make sure to leave as much texture and chunks of tomato as possible, do not liquify.


    2 tablespoons olive oil, divded
    1 1/4 pounds ground beef
    1 1/4 pounds ground pork
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    4 ounces pancetta or bacon, sliced
    1 yellow onion, finely diced
    2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
    1 celery stalk, finely diced
    5 garlic cloves, minced
    1/3 cup (3 oz) tomato paste
    1 cup dry red wine
    1 cup milk
    2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, passed through a food mill*
    2 bay leaves
    1 bunch fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen string
    1 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
    1 pound fresh pasta, such as fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle, cooked until al dente and drained
    Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


    In a large, heavy, deep lidded Dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, ground pork, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the pancetta/bacon and cook until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate.

    Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and cheese rind and stir until combined. Add in the meats and season with salt and pepper.

    Bring to a simmer then partially cover and reduce to medium-low. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You can also transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cook for 3 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaves, thyme, and cheese rind. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with pasta and grated cheese.

    Adapted from Williams Sonoma

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