Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic, & Poblano Ragu

I feel like I’m living in an episode of Seinfeld or Friends.  You know… when something happens and then something else happens and then a third thing happens that somehow ties it all together.  I’m pretty sure some recent events are really just my subconscious is trying to tell me that I’m losing my mind.  Literally.

friends

I’ve always had this panic thing where I really think I lose my cell phone and once I start the panic mode, I find it under my leg in my seat in the car, in a fold in a blanket, or under the dog.  This happens like, literally all the time.  At least once or twice a day.

What’s going on with my recent misplacement of really important belongings isn’t this panic-mode.  It’s real.  I don’t know what’s going on (with the exception of me losing my mind)… but in the past two weeks I have somehow managed to misplace not one but TWO jackets, leave my car keys in my Mom’s car, and forget my purse in a restaurant.  WTF?!

Rather than just thinking I’m a moron, I’m going to take this as a sign that I need to take a step back and relax.  Take a minute and breathe and STOP LOSING ALL OF MY CRAP!

In an attempt to go back to my normal routine, I decided to make dinner last night.  It’s been rare since Dave and I got engaged… life has just been too crazy and busy to make fun dinners.  I was inspired by the surplus of Grape Tomatoes in the house and wanted to try to make my own tomato sauce.

This sauce is so good… I almost could not believe myself.  Don’t leave out the roasting of the veggies in this recipe… it gives the sauce such a rich flavor.  It’s very easy to do!

Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic, & Poblano Ragu

Ingredients:

1.5 pints Grape Tomatoes

1 Head Garlic

1 Poblano Pepper

8oz Lean Ground Beef

1 Green Bell Pepper

1/2 Large Sweet Onion

1 can Diced Tomatoes 

1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/2 teaspoon-1 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1/8 teaspoon Cumin

1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley (or 1T fresh)

Directions: 

1.  Roast the Veggies:  Preheat the oven to 400.  On a baking sheet COVERED with foil and prepared with cooking spray, spread the tomatoes.  Put the poblano on the sheet too.  Cut off the tip of the garlic exposing the tops of the cloves.  Wrap the garlic in a small piece of foil and pour a few drops of Olive Oil in and close.  Put the foiled garlic on the baking sheet too.  Either drizzle or spray the tomatoes and poblano with just a bit of Olive Oil, sprinkle with salt, and pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  Flip the poblano halfway through and remove if the skin becomes charred.

2.  Cook the meat:  While your veggies are roastin’, cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.  If frozen, scrape into small pieces or chop if fresh.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Remove from pan.

3.  Cook the veggies:  Chop the pepper and onion and saute with cooking spray in the same pan the beef cooked in.  Cook for 5-10 minutes then set aside in the same bowl as the beef.  

4.  Make the sauce:  When the tomatoes are a little browned ontop and nice and soggy looking, remove them from the oven.  Unwrap the garlic and let cool.  Cut the poblano in half and scrape out the seeds.  Scrape off the skin too, if possible.  Chop half of the pepper and reserve the remaining half for another use.  Using the back of a spoon, press the bottom end of the garlic until the cloves slide out.  Place the chopped poblano, 1/2 of the garlic cloves, and all of the tomatoes in a blender with the rest of the seasonings, the can of diced tomatoes, and fresh basil.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  

5.  Eat the Sauce!  Combine the tomato mixture from the blender with the beef, pepper, and onion.  Heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat until warm.  Serve over spaghetti and top with a little bit of fresh parm.  Enjoy!

Everything in the blender and ready to whirl!

Everything in the blender and ready to whirl!

Cookin' up the pepper and onion.

Cookin’ up the pepper and onion.

Sauce!

Sauce!

The sauce all ready to go

The sauce all ready to go

beautiful!

beautiful!

So delicious.

So delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Chicken, Veggies, & Roasted Potatoes w/ Dill

So, it’s almost the 4th of July!

Is everyone’s grill-mode on full swing?

Since we’ve been hardly home this summer, and super busy when we are… I haven’t been grilling enough.  It’s depressing.

I was really happy this week when Dave offered to grill up some veggies & chicken for us while I roasted potatoes in my new Dutch Oven.  (Okay, he came into the house and I told him he was grilling… but he did it without complaining!)

Grilled Chicken & Veggies

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts (ours were 8oz each)
1/2 Cup Lawry’s Herb & Garlic Marinade
2 Zucchinis, halved
1 Onion, sliced into thick rings
Olive Oil sprayer
Salt, Pepper, Paprika
Directions: 
  1. Marinade the raw chicken breasts for a half hour covered in the refrigerator , turning halfway through.
  2. Cut your veggies, spray with just a touch of olive oil and season.
  3. Turn on your grill to medium-high.  Both veggies and chicken take a while so they can go on at the same time.
  4. Flip the chicken once it looks like it’s halfway done, then carefully flip the veggies.  Grill until they’re both cooked (chicken should be 165 degrees inside).  I like the veggies a little bit burnt!

    It’s simple and you can top off the chicken with any flavor sauces when it’s done grilling with this!

    This is the sauce we picked to top our veggies and chicken with tonight.

I also was able to try out a new recipe in my brand spankin’ new Dutch Oven that Dave bought me for my b-day!

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes w/ Garlic & Fresh Dill

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook
Ingredients:
1lb Fingerling Potatoes, rinsed
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
8 Cloves Roasted Garlic (or minced garlic if you don’t have roasted)
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Fresh Dill, chopped
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Directions:
1.  Heat the dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat.  Melt the Butter.  Add the potatoes, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
2.  Open lid and stir the potatoes every 7-10 minutes or so.  You can check the done-ness of the bigger ones by sticking a fork in it.  It’s done when it goes in and out easily.  
3.  Add roasted and minced garlic.  Stir.  Cook for 5 more minutes or until the potatoes are done (depends on the size!)
4.  Remove from dutch oven and strain away any excess butter.  Toss with dill, and serve with extra salt/pepper if desired.

Potatoes were so good!

Add some hot sauce and you’ve got yourself some dee-licious potatoes!  YUMMY!  The roasted garlic becomes almost sweet, and is a great addition to this dish.  We buy a little container of it at our local italian marketplace.  It’s cheap and you can use it on so much (smashed on bread… mmmm).

The finished product. I was so full after!