Mexican Beer Braised Chicken Chilaquiles

Oh my god, this is the best thing I’ve ever made.

Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos RecipeSlow Cooker Braised Chicken Tacos

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boned, skinned chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chile powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup Mexican beer (I use Negra Modelo)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 chipotle chile
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise

1. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Add to Dutch oven and cook until chicken is lightly golden but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from Dutch oven and set aside.

2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cumin, chile powder and garlic, and let cook another 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken broth to the skillet, scraping the browned onion off the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and pour mixture into slow cooker. Add the chicken, beer, tomato paste, chipotle chile, cinnamon stick and star anise.

4. Cook on high for 3 hours. Uncover, break chicken apart with a fork, then cover and cook 1 hour more.

5. Put the dutch oven to simmer on the stove until liquid has been reduced to taste. When ready to serve, scramble eggs with a handful of broken tortilla chips. Spoon the chicken on top of scrambled eggs. Serve with side of avocado and cotija cheese.

Short Rib with Eggy Grits and Dandelion Greens

Brunch time.

While you’re waiting on short ribs, do the following.

  • 6 cups water, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 cups medium or coarsely ground corn grits
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 2 tbs lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together 2 tbs olive oil and 2 tbs lemon juice. Toss in a bowl with the salt and pepper and dandelion greens. Set aside.

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. (If you have one that’s nonstick, use it. You’ll thank me later.) Whisk in the grits and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Reduce the heat and simmer the grits, partially covered, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking. Cook until the grits are thick and just tender, about 40 minutes for medium ground grits or longer for coarse grits.

Put braised short ribs in the oven to brown at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Whisk in additional water if the grits get too thick. They should remain pourable. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the thyme.

Arrange grits, short rib, and greens on plate as desired. Poach one egg per person and smash onto the grits when ready to serve.

Optional: serve horseradish and creme fraiche to put on the short ribs.

Short rib prep, for reference:

  • 6 large beef short ribs, about 14 to 16 ounces each (if ribs are tinier, buy by weight, not number)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, and 4 whole sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup diced carrot
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups port
  • 2 1/2 cups hearty red wine
  • 6 cups beef or veal stock
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Season the short ribs with 1 tablespoon thyme and the cracked black pepper. use your hands to coat the meat well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Take the short ribs out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking, to come to room temperature. After 30 minutes, season them generously on all sides with salt.

 

When it’s time to cook the short ribs, heat a large Dutch oven [or a large saute pan, if you would like to use a separate braising dish; I aimed to use fewer dishes] over high heat for 3 minutes. Pour in 3 tablespoons olive oil, and wait a minute or two, until the pan is very hot and almost smoking. Place the short ribs in the pan, and sear until they are nicely browned on all three meaty sides. Depending on the size of your pan, you might have to sear the meat in batches. Do not crowd the meat or get lazy or rushed at this step; it will take at least 15 minutes. [I find this takes closer to 45 minutes if you’re really thorough. Be thorough!] When the ribs are nicely browned, transfer them to a plate to rest.

Turn the heat down to medium, and add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme springs, and bay leaves. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up all the crusty bits in the pan. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables just begin to caramelize. Add the balsamic vinegar, port, and red wine. Turn the heat up to high, and reduce the liquid by half.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Arrange ribs in the pot, lieing flat, bones standing up, in one layer. [If you used a saute pan for previous steps, transfer the ribs to a braising pan at this point.] Scrape any vegetables that have fallen on the ribs back into the liquid. The stock mixture should almost cover the ribs. Tuck the parsley sprigs in and around the meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and a tight-fitting lid if you have one. Braise in the oven for about 3 hours.

To check the meat for doneness, remove the lid and foil, being careful of the escaping steam, and piece a short rib with a paring knife. When the meat is done, it will yield easily to a knife. Taste a piece if you are not sure. [If you would like to cook these a day ahead, this is where you can pause. The next day, you can remove the fat easily from the pot — it will have solidified at the top — bring these back to a simmer on the stove or in an oven, and continue.]

Let the ribs rest 10 minutes in their juices, and then transfer them to a baking sheet.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F.

Place the short ribs in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to brown.

Strain the broth into a saucepan, pressing down on the vegetables with a ladle to extract all the juices. Skim the fat from the sauce (if you made these the day before, you will have already skimmed them) and, if the broth seems thin, reduce it over medium-high heat to thicken slightly. Taste for seasoning.

Shrimp Sauteé with Thyme Grits

http://www.laurabrussell.com/shrimp-saute-with-thyme-grits/

grits

RECIPE: SHRIMP SAUTÉ WITH THYME GRITS

MAKES : 4 SERVINGS

I used grits labeled “organic stone-ground corn grits, medium grind”. You can choose white or yellow grits, medium or coarse grind, as you prefer. Adjust the cooking time as needed. Realistically, using a grain labeled “polenta” will work here as well. As written, the recipe is dairy-free, but I can assure you the grits will taste delicious with a nub of butter and a cup of grated cheddar cheese stirred in at the end. Pass hot sauce at the table.

INGREDIENTS

    • 6 cups water, plus more if needed
    • 1 1/2 cups medium or coarsely ground corn grits
    • 2 teaspoons salt (divided)
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
    • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
    • 1 fresh jalapeno chile, seeded and thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
    • 1 bunch green onions, whites and green tops chopped and reserved separately
    • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. (If you have one that’s nonstick, use it. You’ll thank me later.) Whisk in the grits and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Reduce the heat and simmer the grits, partially covered, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking. Cook until the grits are thick and just tender, about 40 minutes for medium ground grits or longer for coarse grits. (Whisk in additional water if the grits get too thick. They should remain pourable.) Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the thyme.
  • In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve it in a bowl. Add the jalapeno, green bell pepper, and white portion of the green onions to the pan. Cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the bacon. Wipe out the pan. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp (if there are too many to spread in a single layer, cook in two batches), black pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are almost done, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until the shrimp are just done, about 1 minute more. Stir in the lemon juice, reserved bacon and vegetables, and the tomatoes. Remove from the heat.
  • For serving, scoop some grits onto each of four plates or shallow bowls. Mound the shrimp on top of the grits and sprinkle the basil and green portion of the green onions over the top.

Dairy-Free Vegetable Quiche

Quiche Ingredients:
    • 1 recipe pie crust (you can use the dairy-free recipe below, or a store-bought crust, or go “crustless”)
    • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 3 handfuls fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped if desired
    • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped –> RED ONION
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 5-10 asparagus spears, ends trimmed then chopped into 1-inch pieces –> SMALL BROCCOLI FLORETS
    • 6 eggs
    • 3/4 cup plain rice milk or almond milk –> UNSWEETENED COCONUT MILK
    • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
    • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
Dairy-Free Pie Crust Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3-4 Tbsp. ice water

Method

To Make The Quiche:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a prepared pie crust in an ungreased pie plate.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, chopped red peppers, and asparagus, and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the asparagus is cooked. Remove from heat.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder, rice or almond milk, salt, paprika, thyme, chipotle powder, and black pepper. Stir in the sauteed vegetables and fresh spinach, and stir until well combined.

When pie crust is ready, take out from oven and pour the egg and vegetable mixture into the crust, and use a spoon to even out the top. Place in oven and cook for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Quiche will rise while baking, but should settle back down once you remove it from the oven. Remove from the oven and allow the quiche to set for at least 5 minutes. Then slice and serve immediately.

To Make The Dairy-Free Pie Crust:

Combine salt and flour in a bowl. Cut shortening into the salt and flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until it is well-combined. Add water, then stir with spoon until mixture clings together in a ball. Dough may be slightly moist. If dough is too dry or moist add additional water or flour as needed. Don’t over mix. You should see thin swirls of shortening throughout the dough. Lightly dust your rolling surface with flour, and roll the dough out as desired. To transfer the crust from the rolling surface to the pie pan, fold the crust in half twice. Lift and unfold crust over pie pan.