Pork and green chili burritos

Make-Ahead Pork Green Chili Burritos

I keep thinking life will calm down a little bit and I’ll have more time to cook more elaborate meals. But that doesn’t seem to be happening. How could it, with kids in the picture?! Thankfully, I have enough dishes in my repertoire that taste great but don’t take a ton of time, that I manage to put a good meal on the table ALMOST every night. The night I came up with this dish was definitely a proud moment. I got ooo’s and ahhh’s when I took it out of the oven and raves as the family ate it eagerly. There were enough leftovers for a couple of lunches too and it tasted even better then.

pork and green chili burritos

Under all that wonderful, warm chile cheesiness is nestled pork burritos for an easy dinner.

Make-Ahead Pork Green Chili Burritos

Serves 6-8 depending on whether they are cut in half or not

Ingredients:
6-7 large flour tortillas
1-1 1/2 pounds cubed pork*
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can beans of your choice, drained (I used black beans)
1 large jar 505 brand Green Chile (any brand or variety would do but I liked their All Natural one)
1/2 pound shredded cheese of choice (I used a Mexican blend but you can use whatever you prefer)

To garnish:
Shredded lettuce, diced red onion, avocados or guacamole, sour cream or plain yogurt, cilantro, diced tomatoes – all of these things add a fresh element, some crunch and additional nutrition.

Directions:
1. Cook the meat and onion. If you have a pressure cooker, this is the time to use it. Brown the cubed pork in some oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker, add the onion after the meat has started to brown. Add enough water (plus a chicken bouillon cube if you want for additional flavoring) to cover the meat. Then use the pressure cooker function and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain off the liquid and throw in the garlic. If you DON’T have a pressure cooker, dice the pork into smaller pieces and brown it in a skillet low and slow, adding the onion and then garlic, in that order. Because it’s diced, the garlic can burn easily so it shouldn’t go in until you are almost ready to take everything off the heat.

2. Add the beans to the meat mixture.

3. Spray the bottom and sides of a long baking dish with non-stick spray.

4. Place a tortilla at one end of the baking dish and add some of the meat/bean filling. Roll it up snuggly, keeping it in the baking dish, placing it seam side down. Repeat the process, continuing to assemble the burritos in the baking dish until you can’t fit anymore. For the average baking dish, 6-7 fit. Don’t squeeze them in too much or it will be too difficult to get them out.

5. Pour the green chile over the top making sure every bit of tortilla is covered so that it all stays moist. Then sprinkle cheese over the top, evenly.

6. Spray non-stick spray to a large piece of aluminum foil and cover the dish very loosely, leaving some space between the cheese and the foil if possible. NOTE: If you are making this ahead, go ahead and snugly cover the baking dish and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Remove the foil for the last five minutes.

7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes (if it has not been refrigerated) at 350 degrees to heat everything through and melt the cheese. If you have refrigerated the dish, figure another 20 or so minutes more.

8. Just like the first piece of cake or pie, the first burrito out of the pan is a tricky thing to manage. If it comes out looking a little mangled, quickly cover that one with all the garnishes and no one will ever know the difference!

9. Garnish as you like and enjoy!

*Helpful hint about the pork – Sometimes you can get pork already diced but a handy trick I use is to buy a large pork loin at my local big-box store. The price-per-pound is usually very good and the meat is lean. From one long one, which is usually about a foot and a half long, I cut off a big chunk to be a roast, six slices for pork chops and then the rest, I cut into cubes. That will be three different meals from one pork loin! Good deal. 

Pork and green chili burritos

Beautiful! And tasty. Add all the fresh veggies you want for crunch and cool.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Coconut Curry Chicken

I have a few picky eaters under my roof which makes it a real challenge to figure out what to make for dinner. I would be a much more adventurous cook if I could just make what I want and know that the kids would eat it. But, tra-la-la, that’s the lament of most parents, am I right? My pickiest-eater child has suddenly decided to take pity on me (after all of his ultra-picky years) and is willing to try more things. But then the kid who used to eat anything has suddenly decided he doesn’t like rice, pork, steak or chicken. Great. Swapped one for the other. Undeterred by this, and noticing I had a can of coconut milk in the pantry, I set out to create a dish everyone would at least be willing to try and came up with a great one.

Coconut Curry Chicken

A dish even my pickiest eaters loved! If I’d had some peas, I would have added them. Wouldn’t that have looked nice?

Coconut Curry Chicken with Rosamarina Rice

Serves 6

Six boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I buy them frozen at a big box store)
1/2 a large red onion sliced top to bottom
1 small potato, diced (this just extends the meal but doesn’t add any real flavor)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of coconut milk (13.5 ounce)
1/2 t. coriander
2 T. curry powder
Salt and Pepper to taste, added just before serving
Add on: 1/2 a cup of frozen peas
Rosamarina Rice to serve it with (recipe below)

Method:
In a small pan, melt about a tablespoon of butter, then add the coconut milk, coriander and curry powder. Gently whisk until blended. Turn off the heat and set it aside.

Coconut Curry Chicken

The sauce with coconut milk, curry powder and coriander. Don’t add the salt and pepper until you are simmering the sauce and chicken together.

In a large skillet or dutch oven, drizzle some olive oil and heat up the pan. Add the onion slices and saute until they begin to be translucent. At that point, add the garlic and stir for a few seconds. Be careful because the garlic will burn quickly and become bitter.

Coconut Curry Chicken

I love the look of red onions! I sliced them the long way so that the kids who didn’t want onion could easily pick it out (turns out they didn’t!).

Add the diced chicken and turn everything over with a spatula to get the onion and garlic off the bottom of the pan and get things mixed up a bit. Do this periodically until the chicken is beige on all sides. It doesn’t have to be cooked through at this point.

Coconut Curry Chicken

The mixture will thicken as you let it simmer. Don’t cover it or the drops from the humidity that builds up on the lid will drip back down and water down the dish.

Pour the coconut/coriander/curry mixture over the chicken and stir again. Switch out your spatula for a large cooking spoon at this point because the spatula has raw chicken juice on it. Always do this when you are cooking – as soon as all sides have started to cook, ditch the raw-stuff utensil for a clean one to finish the dish to avoid cross-contamination.

Lower the heat and let the whole mixture simmer and thicken until the chicken and potatoes (if used) are cooked through and tender. In the last minute or so, add the peas, which I would have done with my dish if I’d had any. It would have added a nice bit of color and another element of flavor. Serve over the rice (or quinoa or nothing).

Rosamarina Rice

Coconut Curry Chicken

Every time I make rice, I make it this way, with rosamarina because it just tastes so darned good!

1/4 cup rosamarina, also called orzo, found in the pasta section of the store
2 cups rice
4-1/4 cups water (or chicken stock)*
3-4 bouillon cubes (if using water instead of stock)

Method:
Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in a pot. Add the rosamarina and stir almost constantly until it starts to brown. At this point, it will burn quickly so before that can happen, pour the rice over it and stir to prevent the rosamarina from continuing to sit on the bottom of the pan. The butter that’s still in the pan will lightly coat the rice/rosamarina, adding some flavor.

Add the water/bouillon and stir. Let the mixture come to a boil. As soon as it does, cover the pot, turn the heat to low and let it sit to start absorbing the liquid. This usually takes about 20 minutes so I try to time the coordination of making rice with making the entree so they are done around the same time. Resist the urge to lift up the lid or stir the rice because it will effect how the rice turns out.

* Because the rosamarina needs to absorb the water to cook, I either lower the amount of rice I put in or add a little water/stock to compensate.

avocado

Easy Sunday Morning Breakfast

To quote the song, this recipe is “Easy Like Sunday Morning!” My husband and I have a weekend tradition of turning on CBS Sunday Morning and having breakfast in bed. I don’t want to miss a second of this wonderful show by slaving over the stove, yet we want something that’s a little special to go along with our little tradition. Last week, I came up with this idea, using some bits and pieces we had in the fridge. It was delicious!

avocado

Avocado Toast with Cheesy Egg – an easy way to make breakfast feel special and also healthy.

Cheesy Eggs on Avocado Toast

Ingredients:

1 egg per person
1 piece of toast of choice (I used a sprouted grain bread substantial enough to hold up to the avocado)
1 avocado half (or some guacamole)
About two tablespoons of a strongly-flavored, favorite cheese like cheddar, Asiago or Parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Fry an egg sunnyside up in some olive oil or butter. While the egg is cooking, toast the bread. Spread half of the half avocado on the toast like it’s thick butter. Or treat the guacamole the same way.

When the egg is done, carefully lay it atop the avocado toast and sprinkle the cheese over the top to taste. You aren’t trying to smother it, just add a little something extra! Salt and pepper to taste.

Break the yolk and help it spread all over the avocado toast so that every bite has cheesy egg, avocado and toast in it. Yum!

Variation: You could also do a poached egg (if you are that talented, which I am not) or just a scrambled egg so that you could even pick it up and eat it like a slice of pizza. But then you don’t get that oozing yoke deliciousness. Your choice!

Mother’s Day Brunch Round-Up

By Edan Goode (a mom who totally gets it)

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Next to doing housework, the last (and I mean LAST) thing any mom should be doing on Mother’s Day is cooking! Am I right? Not even for your OWN moms, ladies! Mother’s Day is the one day a year, pretty much, when it’s your day to be queen, with love, appreciation, relaxation and pleasure bestowed upon you. Lots of area restaurants are on board with that and are cooking up wonderful meals with food and drink specials in your honor. Reservations are either required or at least highly recommended! Hours vary by restaurant.

Argyll Whisky Beer Moms receive a complimentary Lavender Love cocktail at this casual British gastropub. Mom can also enjoy the Pastry Basket of assorted treats and other brunch entrees.

Blackbelly Market Mom gets a complimentary Prosecco cocktail to accompany the fresh and local farm-inspired dishes served at the East Boulder hotspot.

Bombay Clay Oven Special brunch and specialty drink items for moms, who get to dine for free.

Central Bistro and Bar Full brunch menu plus specials for mom.

Cherry Cricket will be offering all moms a Colorado Brew called Mama’s Little Yella Pils $3. 303-322-7666.

Coohills Enjoy a fixed-price brunch with fresh food stations including coffee and tea. $45 adults. $20 kids ages 4-12. Free, age 3 and under.

Cook Street School of Culinary Treat Mom to an interactive cooking class by professional chefs. Mom will learn how to prepare brunch dishes, followed by feating on a complete meal and cocktails. $89 per person. Gift certificates are also available 303-308-9300.

Guard & Grace Adults get a fixed price, 3 course menu for $45. Children get a 2 course meal for $20.

Humboldt Farm, Fish & Wine Feast on homemade breakfast pastries, Humboldt’s variations on the classic Benedicts, fresh seafood options, the signature Humboldt Raw Bar, and fresh oysters for a dollar all day. Top it off with a complimentary Humboldt Mimosa.

MAX’s Wine Dive Enjoy the Famous Southern Fried Chicken, house-made beignets, a Smoked Salmon Frittata and other specials.

Punch Bowl Social Mom can “Bowl for Brunch” for a shot at having her brunch for free. Moms also get a complimentary mimosa upon arrival. Enjoy brunch with everything from a prime rib carving station to omelettes to mac ‘n’ cheese. Adult price is $29.99, kids 6-12 are $10 and kids under 6 are free. Call 303-765-2695 or visit Open Table for reservations.

Session Kitchen Brunch options include the Session Breakfast Burrito, Lox and Tots and Banana Bread French Toast. Drinks include the create-your-own mimosa.  Call 720-763-3387 for reservations.

Stout Street Social Complimentary Mimosa for Mom, special brunch items and drink specials. Call 720-214-9100 for reservations.

Tamayo Have the Bottomless Margarita Brunch and a complimentary Mom’s Day chrysanthemum flower.  Brunch includes unlimited small plates and free flowing brunch cocktails for $35. Reservations required at 720-946-1433.

The Corner Office Restaurant and Martini Bar Denver Mother’s get a free glass of prosecco and kids get a build-your-own Pancake Bar.

ViewHouse (Centennial) Mother’s Day buffet brunch including crab eggs benedict, a roasted sage chicken, New York strip steak and honey glazed ham plus a complimentary ViewHouse Mimosa.

ViewHouse (Denver) Enjoy a variety of brunch selections plus the ViewHouse Mule or ViewHouse mimosa.

Village Inn is giving moms a carnation (while supplies last), enabling her to win prizes on their Facebook page and, if you prefer a gift card, you buy one for $25 and get $5.

Zengo Indulge in a  Bottomless Mother’s Day Brunch with a Build Your Own Bloody Bar (Maria or Mary), unlimited small plates and brunch cocktails. Mom receives a Mother’s Day Chrysanthemum to plant. Reservations are recommended, call 720-904-0965.

Happy Mother’s Day! 

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Email: ingoodtastedenver@gmail.com

Mother’s Day Brunch Round-up By Edan Goode

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Now, moms, we all know that if there is something we are wishing for on Mother’s Day, giving a little hint never hurt. If you are hoping for a nice Mother’s Day Brunch, but don’t have time to research a place to go (Who does, right?) we’ve done the work for you.

Here’s a round-up of area restaurants doing something special in honor of you, on Sunday, May 12. Make those reservations now – or rather, tell the person who needs to know this information to call right now to get a table or else! Happy Mother’s Day!

Where: Zengo Denver/1610 Little Raven St., Denver. http://www.richardsandoval.com/zengodenver/index.php
What: 10:30am-2:30pm. Mums & Mother’s Day Brunch celebration. Each mom will receive a mum (flower) with their brunch.
Cost: $35 per guest, $10 for children, and includes unlimited small plates and free flowing brunch cocktails.

Where: TAG Restaurant/1441 Larimer St., Denver. http://tag-restaurant.com/
What: A special Mother’s Day Brunch, 10am-2pm.
Cost: $40 per person. $15 for children.

Where:  The Corner Office/1401 Curtis St., Denver. http://thecornerofficedenver.com/
What: 
Sexy Mama Disco Brunch, 9am-3pm. Regular brunch a la carte menu but with the addition of a 10-minute chair massage, champagne and photo booth.
Cost: Depends on menu items chosen. Not fixed price.

Where: Tamayo/14oo Larimer St., Denver. www.richardsandoval.com
What: Bottomless Margarita Brunch and Mom’s Day chrysanthemum flower.
Cost:  Brunch includes unlimited small plates and breakfast cocktails for $35. Discount for those not drinking and for kids.

Where: Second Home Kitchen + Bar/150 Clayton Lane inside JW Marriott Hotel. www.secondhomedenver.com.
What: Mom receives a complimentary mimosa during the Mother’s Day Pajama Brunch from 7am-3pm or dinner from 5pm-10pm.
Cost: Order off of regular menu. Kids age 8 and under, free when wearing their PJ’s during the brunch. They get to eat and be entertained in a separate room.

Where: Gaetano’s/3760 Tejon St., Denver. www.gaetanositalian.com
What:  Noon-4 pm. Special Mother’s Day brunch items in addition to the regular menu. Also, a Prosecco-sicle, a liquor popsicle dropped into a glass of prosecco for $9.
Cost: Varies with menu items chosen.

Where: Altitude Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Denver/650 15th St., Denver. http://www.downtowndenverhyatts.com/altitude-mothers-day-dining
What: Brunch from11am-3pm.
Cost: $42 per person 13+, $17 ages 6-12, 5 and under dine free.

Where: Garden Terrace at the Inverness Hotel/200 Inverness Drive West, Englewood.  http://www.invernesshotel.com/denver-restaurants.php
What: Buffet brunch. 9:30am-3pm.
Cost: $49.95 per person 11+, $23.95 ages 6-10, 5 and under dine free.

Where: Beatrice and Woodsley, South Broadway No. 38, Denver. http://beatriceandwoodsley.com/special-occasions-menus/
What: Table service brunch with multi-course options. 10am- 2pm.
Cost: $36 per adult, $20 per child.

Where:  Café Terracotta, (5649 S. Curtice St., Littleton. http://www.cafeterracottalittleton.com/.
What: Brunch 7:30am-2:30pm.
Cost: $29.95 per person, $14.95 children 10 and under.

Where: Cool River Café,  8000 E. Belleview Ave. , Suite C 10, Greenwood Village. http://www.coolrivercafe.com/reservations.php?c=1&id=4
What:  Buffet 10am- 3pm.
Cost: $36.95 per person, $14.95 children under 12.

Just a reminder that buffets do not include tax and gratuity. Be kind to your server. They may be a mom or have one.

 

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Read our “big sister” blog of news and reviews
of restaurants, theater, movies and travel:
www.InGoodTasteDenver.com.

Pizza Round-Up By Edan Goode

Pizza Round-Up

Pizza plays a big part in my family’s life. During the cold weather months, when heating an oven to 425 degrees is a welcome thing, we have Pizza and a Movie Fridays.  I whip up a food-processor batch of dough, clean out the fridge of bits of meat, chicken and veggie leftovers, smother it all with cheese and turn out a delicious pizza. We lay out a big blanket on the family room floor, turn on a movie and have a pizza picnic.

On occasion though (like when I can’t fathom heating up the kitchen), we go out for pizza.  In honor of our readers who live all over the city, I’ve picked a few of our favorite pizza joints from all over the city.

Mattie Soprano’s Ristorante & Pizzeria (Green Valley Ranch)

I bless the day my daughter had a soccer game out near Green Valley Ranch. Starving, we headed north on Tower Rd. in search of lunch. We found pizza bliss that we have been more than willing to drive out of our way for many-a-time. The atmosphere is campy Italian but the pizza is so good. The crust is perfect in texture and flavor. You can create your own pizza from lots of toppings or order one of the gourmet ones. Our favorite is the Tuscany with alfredo sauce, sausage, spinach and roasted red pepper but the humble pepperoni is delicious too. All pizzas are made from scratch, to order, so be willing to wait 20-25 minutes – totally worth it! They also have calzones and Stromboli for those who like their pizza rolled up. Prices vary, depending on the toppings and size.

CiCi’s Pizza (multiple locations)  

My husband was a bit aghast when the kids and I raved about CiCi’s. You see, it’s a chain, and a buffet and it’s raucous, filled with families, celebrating youth sports teams and birthday gatherings – all things that make him a bit tense. No, you won’t find a peaceful meal here unless you go at off-times. But anytime, you will find really good pizza with a huge variety including pepperoni, ham and pineapple, vegetarian, buffalo chicken and spinach alfredo. If you don’t see the pizza you like on the buffet, ask them to make the one you want, all for you, delivered to your table and they’ll do it! There is also a modest salad bar, pasta bar and dessert bar with sinful cinnamon rolls. Prices vary by location but are around $5 plus change, per person. Kids under 3 are free. It’s a bargain.

Woody’s Wood-Fired Tavern (multiple locations)

Whereas my husband glazes over at the CiCi’s experience, he lights up over Woody’s. Their website address kind of says it all:  PizzaAndBeer.us.  Like CiCi’s, Woody’s also has a buffet with an extensive salad area, yummy cheese/beer soup and a variety of pizzas coming fresh out of the oven. Here too, you can also request that they make a certain pizza. My husband loves Woody’s pizzas, every one. Frankly, I find Woody’s lacking which is surprising given the intoxicating smell coming from the wood-burning stoves that envelope you in the parking lot. The dark, shellacked atmosphere inside is depressing and the service is either great or non-existent. They have great chicken wings plus other non-pizza items like burgers. $8.99 for the pizza/salad/soup buffet, per person.

Old Chicago Pasta and Pizza  (multiple locations)

Although the ever-present sports playing on screens every where you look get annoying and make my eyes glaze over, Old Chicago is a good standby for us. Just last weekend, when we were in Boulder for our annual tradition of seeing the tulips on the Pearl Street Mall, we ended up at Old Chicago because we knew we could count on it to be good.  The kids’ meal menu has all the favorites with decent portions, especially for the individual pizza. I was expecting something oh, english muffin size, which I’ve seen other pizza places turn out (none of the ones mentioned here!).  The rest of us ordered our favorite combo of pepperoni, sausage and mushroom, thick crust of course.  I appreciate that the meats were well-done,  not sopping in grease.  The crust is buttery and a treat all on its own.

Where do you like to go for pizza? Post it here so that we can all discover some new favorites!