Slow Cooker Texas Chili

In the age of the Instant Pot we have forgotten one of our most reliable and trustworthy kitchen friends: the slow cooker.

Many home cooks are currently enamored with the Instant Pot. The idea of dinner being instantly created in a Jetson-like contraption is unfortunately a myth. This electric pressure-cooking frenzy is noteworthy and has a place in the 21st century kitchen. However, in this hubbub and excitement for instant cooking we have forgotten slow cooking.Slow cooking is a classic way to cook and the slow cooker itself is a much-needed kitchen item for many homes.

That’s why today I want to remind you of the slow cooker that’s sitting on your shelf. Chili is one of the best (if not the best) recipes to make in a slow cooker because ingredients can be browned into an umami state and then transferred easily into the slow cooker where it sits slowly and securely braising all day long. At the end of its long simmer it waits for you to lift the lid and serve.Slow Cooker Texas Chili is the quintessential slow cooker recipe. It is a beef chili full of chile and tomato flavor. There are no fillers: beans, corn, bell pepper (I save that for a different chili). This is a true Texas chili that is full of meat, tomatoes, chili and Texas beer.

There’s no place better to get these Texas-inspired ingredients than from a beloved Texas based grocery store: Market Street . I love getting beef from Market Street the Ranchers Reserve line is always fresh and tender.

The Ranchers Reserve stew meat is already cut to size and prewrapped, so you can easily grab the ingredient and be on your way. Plus, just around the bend is the beer section where Shiner Bock, a local Texas lager beer, is waiting to be picked up for this Texas chili.The beauty of cooking chili on the stove top is that it thickens while the sauce reduces. A way to create a thick chili in the slow cooker is by using corn tortillas to thicken the mixture. Again, another local ingredient waiting for you at Market Street .

Reacquaint yourself with the slow cooker this winter with Market Street and Texas Chili. You’ll remember how good this appliance has been to you.

Slow Cooker Texas Chili

Author Note: The addition of a tomato and corn tortilla puree comes from America’s Test Kitchen, The Complete Slow Cooker. This step is brilliant because it not only creates a thickening agent for the chili but it also adds a layer of texture to the chili.

3 pounds stew meat

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 cup lager beer

1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef stock

1 beef bouillon cube

1 14.5 ounce canned tomatoes

5 corn tortillas, cut into pieces

1 serrano (or jalapeno) pepper, seeded chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

  1. 30 minutes before cooking, evenly distribute 1 teaspoon of salt over the stew meat.
  2. When ready to cook, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to a large skillet. Heat over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering add half of the stew meat. Brown the meat in the canola oil, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the meat and place into a warm slow cooker. Repeat this step for the second batch of the stew meat.
  3. Lower the temperature to medium and add tomato paste and onions. Sautee until browned, about 1 minute. Add the beef stock, beer, tomatoes, bouillon cube and tortilla pieces. Scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until it is a thick and smooth consistency.
  5. Pour the tomato mixture into the slow cooker covering the meat. Add the cumin, garlic, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and oregano to the mixture. Stir well. Cover and cook 6-7 hours on high or 9-10 hours on low.
  6. Serve warm with cilantro and sour cream.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own.

Creamy Potato and Bacon Soup

Creamy Potato and Bacon Soup

Author note: This recipe is a twist on Richard Olney’s Potato Soup in his book Simple French Food.

1 to 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Potatoes (peeled, halved and thinly sliced)

2 quarts water

3 slices bacon

1 cup onion, diced

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup cream

  1. Place water and bacon into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the salt to the pot.
  2. Add the potatoes and onions to the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Once the potatoes are tender and easily break with a fork, remove the bacon and stir in the butter. Once the butter is melted and incorporated into soup, add the cream. Warm through. Serve warm with crusty bread and brie.

Avocado Dip

Avocado Dip

Author note: This recipe is easily doubled. However, instead of doubling the salt, season to taste with the salt when the recipe is doubled. Pickled red onions is a perfect pairing with this dip.

3 cups avocado

juice from 1 lime

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup sour cream

2 garlic cloves

cayenne pepper (to taste)

cilantro, to top

  1. Place the avocado, lime juice, cumin, salt, sour cream and garlic cloves into a medium bowl. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  2. Top with cayenne and cilantro. Serve with chips.

Hot Cocoa Ice Cream

Hot Cocoa Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup instant hot cocoa powder (without marshmallows)

marshmallows, for topping

  1. Check your ice cream maker manual for specific instructions. For my ice cream maker, you must freeze the freezer bowl for 24 hours before making ice cream.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, milk, and vanilla extract on medium-low for 10 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent boiling.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the yolks and sugar. With a whisk, break the yolks and combine with the sugar. Set aside.
  4. Add the hot cocoa powder to the warmed milk mixture. Stir to combine. Let warm for 5-10 additional minutes or until the cocoa mixture is dissolved and combined. Strain the mixture into a heat-safe mixing bowl.
  5. Working quickly, temper the yolk mixture with the hot cocoa mixture. To temper the yolks, whisk the eggs quickly while slowly adding the warm liquid (about 1/4 cup at a time) until all the liquid is combined.
  6. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge. Let it chill for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  7. Place the ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker and mix for 20 minutes, or until the ice cream is thickened to the desired consistency.
  8. Serve immediately for soft serve, or place in a freezer safe container and freeze for a firmer texture. Top with marshmallows or your favorite topping before serving.

Stuffed Shells with Ricotta and Beef

I’ve always been intrigued by jumbo pasta shells. Every time I walk through the pasta aisle at Market Street, I have a fleeting thought…

“one day I’m going buy a box and then stuff these beautiful shells with goodness.”

What that goodness is, I haven’t been quite sure…until recently.

Meatballs fall under the category of “food kids like.” The size, shape and dip-ability make this food friendly, not just for the little ones but for grown-ups alike. Fortunately for me, I have a meatball recipe that my children l-o-v-e and it’s one I make occasionally for their little bellies.

I’m not sure when I decided that this ricotta beef meatball mixture needed to be the filling for the jumbo shells, but it did happen and it’s baked jumbo shell glory.Baked Ricotta and Beef Stuffed Shells is a Sunday Supper must. The process of stuffing the shells is a bit time consuming, but it’s nothing a bit of wine and your favorite tunes can’t turn into kitchen bliss.

Now, let’s talk ingredients. I can’t speak highly enough of my newfound favorite line of ricotta and mascarpone—Vermont Creamery found in Market Street’s cheese department. Both are creamy in texture and delicious in taste. They blend perfectly with the ground grass-fed beef, parmesan cheese and organic basil. Market Street has everything I need to make top-notch, quality food.These jumbo shells are meant to be stuffed with this rich and decadent beef mixture and then topped with a homemade red sauce. If you’re feeling extra cheesy (which not everyone in my family does, so I don’t), top this dish with shredded mozzarella and parm to make the baked shells an even more delicious meal.

Prepare yourself for a memorable and delicious Sunday Supper with Baked Ricotta and Beef Shells. Once you make it, you’ll never have to wonder what you would stuff in those jumbo shells—it will always be beef and ricotta!

Stuffed Shells with Ricotta and Beef

Author note: This pasta dish can be prepped 6-8 hours before baking. Remove from the oven at least an hour before baking. If you would like to top with cheese before baking, a combination of shredded mozzarella and parmesan would work well.

1 12 ounce box jumbo pasta shells

1/2 cup yellow onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tablespoons carrot, finely chopped

1 cup whole milk ricotta

1 cup mascarpone cheese

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 12-ounce cans diced tomatoes

1 cup dry white wine (like pinot grigio)

1/4 cup cream

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil the noodles to almost al dente, about 6 minutes. Strain the pasta from the water and set aside to cool.
  3. In a skillet add the olive oil, carrot, onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves of garlic to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute. Add white wine, cream and tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, combine the ricotta, mascarpone, parmesan cheese, ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 garlic cloves and basil in large bowl.
  5. Pour half of the sauce into a heat proof bowl. Set aside.
  6. Stuff the cooked shells with the ricotta beef mixture. Place the stuffed shells into the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce over the stuffed pasta. If you prefer to cook the shells in a baking pan, add a layer of sauce to the bottom of the pan. Place the stuffed pasta into the pan and cover with the remaining tomato sauce.
  7. Place into the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Top with freshly grated parmesan and freshly torn basil.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own.

Pumpkin Pie Croissant Cups

Pumpkin Pie Croissant Cups

Author note: Chopped pecans would be a nice addition to add to the top of the pumpkin pie cups before baking.

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 14-ounce can condensed milk

2 eggs

2 packages of Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheet

marshmallow fluff or cool whip, for serving

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, condensed milk and eggs. Stir well.
  3. Generously spray a muffin tin with canola oil.
  4. On a cutting board roll out one package of crescent dough. Cut the dough into six squares (a pizza cutter makes this task easier). Place the squares into the muffin cups by pressing the center of the dough square into the muffin tin first and letting the four corners come to rest on the perimeter of each muffin cup. Repeat steps with the second package of crescent dough.
  5. Fill each dough cup 3/4 of the way with the pumpkin pie mixture. Place into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until the pumpkin filling is cooked all the way. After 12 minutes of baking, cover the top of the pan with foil to prevent the dough from burning.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, about 2 hours, before removing the cups from the muffin tin.
  7. Serve with marshmallow fluff or cool whip.

Instant Pot Chicken Stock

Thanksgiving is a holiday season that requires a lot of chicken stock.

Thankfully, Market Street has you covered in this department during this festive season. Ample ready-made chicken stock is waiting for you to purchase and use this holiday season.

Chicken stock can be used for variety of recipes whether it’s braised meats, dressing, or gravy– chicken stock is a must for Thanksgiving. Market Street knows that stock is a holiday kitchen staple and that’s one of the reasons I love shopping at my local store; they know my cooking needs!This year while “stocking” (I couldn’t help myself!) up, I want to encourage you to not only purchase ready-made stock but to also make homemade chicken stock for those extra special savory dishes.

Chicken stock is an easy task. It may sound intimidating and labor intensive, but it’s not. All that is required is chicken, onion, water and time.I typically use the cooktop when making my chicken stock—not because it’s easier, but because I love the warmth and cozy atmosphere it creates. If I need an efficient (and quick!) chicken stock experience I use the Instant Pot.

The beauty of using the Instant Pot for homemade chicken stock is that it is a quick process and it doesn’t heat up the house. Most importantly for this time of the year, using the Instant Pot for stock frees up burners on the cooktop so I can get knock out more of my Thanksgiving side dishes.Pull out the Instant Pot this Thanksgiving and quickly make homemade chicken stock. Market Street is waiting. All you need is one onion and three pounds of bone-in chicken (the Market Street butcher has a wonderful selection of chicken to choose from!) If you’re lucky, you might even stumble across one of the wonderful discounts Market Street offers this time of the year. That’s something to celebrate too!

Instant Pot Chicken Stock

  • Servings: makes 7 cups
  • Print
Author note: Be sure to allow the full 30 minutes of pressure release time before releasing the pressure. Anything earlier may result in chicken stock spewing out from the pressure release valve.

3-pounds bone-in chicken thighs and legs

1 onion, peeled and halved

7 cups water

  1. Place all ingredients into the Instant Pot insert. Secure the lid. Cook with high pressure for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, natural pressure release for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, use the pressure release valve to release any remaining pressure. Keep a towel handy in case any liquid is released.
  2. Remove the lid and skim the surface of any foam. Strain the stock into a large bowl and let cool. Pour the stock into an airtight container and place into the fridge. Use stock within 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Salt to taste when cooking.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own.

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