Black Bean Pumpkin Chili
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup red or green bell pepper, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 ½ tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1-2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small can diced green chiles
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups chicken stock
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic,
cumin, chili powder, and crumbled beef with salt and pepper until vegetables are
tender and the
beef is browned. Stir in the pumpkin, tomatoes and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and
simmer 20 minutes until flavors blend and serve, garnished with grated cheese
and sour cream.
Optional: add your favorite heat ingredients, such as chipotle powder or hot smoked
minced jalapeno or cayenne powder. Add 1 cup corn kernels or even 1 bunch chopped greens.
Salt and pepper
Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half in half again, season with salt
and pepper, and place cut side down in an 11x14 baking dish. Roast at 375° until the pumpkin is
tender when pierced with a knife tip, about 45 minutes depending on thickness. Remove from
the oven and when cool enough to handle, pare the skin from the pumpkin, place
into a food
processor and process to a smooth puree. Use two cups or so for the chili, and freeze the rest to
use at another time or for another purpose.
3 beets, medium size
1 4oz. goat cheese log
Minced red onion
Reduced balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh dill
Wash the beets and peel away any roots or rough spots. The beets are organic, so no need to
peel unless you want to. Place the beets in boiling water to cover and add a large pinch of salt.
Cook until tender, drain and chill.
To serve, toss the beets with the greens, dill, minced onion, and goat cheese. Sprinkle the salad
with salt and pepper, drizzle with good quality olive oil and the reduced
balsamic. Toss again,
and serve at once.
Beef Liver Pate
3 strips bacon
1 lb. of beef liver
1 onion, chopped
½ cup dry red wine
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium shallot, chopped
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tbsp. cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
Rinse and drain the pieces of liver. Cut the bacon crosswise into 1 inch pieces and brown in a
large skillet. Remove when cooked to a paper towel to drain. In the bacon drippings with a
pinch of salt, melt half of the butter and cook the liver and soften the onion
and shallot over
medium heat. When the liver is cooked but not overdone, stir in the garlic and cook for 1
minute. Add the mustard, herbs, lemon juice and wine, and cook uncovered until most of
liquid is gone. Allow to cool a bit, then remove to the bowl of a food processor and blend until
smooth, adding the rest of the butter. The texture should be smooth and creamy. If it is dry and
crumbly instead, add more butter. Pack into a ramekin and press the black pepper into the top.
The pate can be frozen in ice cube trays, or in ramekins that are just the right
size for your
Carne Seca, or Dried Beef
Traditionally, carne seca was used as a technique to preserve the beef harvest. While no longer
necessary as a preserving method, it does produce a flavor and texture not
achieved with stewed
beef chuck or round. In Mexico, it’s often called Machaca.
3 lbs. eye of round or chuck roast
3 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
10 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp. ground mild red chile, preferably ancho or Anaheim
8 cups water
juice of 2 limes
Dried Seasoning Blend:
1 tbsp. dried mild red chile, ground
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
¼ cup oil
1 medium onion, chopped
¾ cup roasted mild green poblano chiles, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt to taste
Lime wedges to garnish
Combine all the dried beef ingredients (except the lime juice) in a heavy
saucepan or Dutch oven.
Bring to a boil, skim off any foam, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 2-2 ½ hours,
until very tender. Strain, reserving one cup for this recipe. The rest can be used as a soup stock.
Preheat the oven to 275°. Shred the meat and return to the Dutch oven. Add the reserved 1 cup
cooking liquid and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Pour the lime juice over the meat and
toss to combine.
Transfer the meat to a couple of cookie sheets, spreading it thin. In a small bowl, combine the
dried seasonings, and sprinkle half of it over the meat. Bake for 20 minutes, and sprinkle with as
much of the remaining seasonings as you like, toss together, and bake again for
30 minutes or so,
until browned and dry. Can be prepped ahead and refrigerated for 1-2 days before using.
Transfer a handful at a time to a blender and pulse to lightly puree into fine
threads. Resist over
processing, as it will resemble sawdust.
I used the beef on tortillas, with pickled onions and grated cheddar cheese, and
grilled them until
the cheese was melted and the tortillas lightly browned. Cut into wedges and serve with chipotle
If you prefer, you can add the beef to the tomato mixture and use it to fill
Warm the oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet. Add the onion and soften, then stir in the
chiles, tomatoes, garlic and oregano and cook, covered, for a few minutes. Add the browned
meat and heat through, until all the liquid is absorbed. Add additional salt to taste. Serve with
lime wedges, plain or in tortillas.
Chipotle Sour Cream
½ cup sour cream
juice of ½ lime
salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp. ground chipotle powder, or more to taste
¼ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. granulated garlic powder
Stir together all ingredients and serve. If too tart, add more salt.
2 red onions, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
2 cloves garlic, smashed
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup cider vinegar
Black pepper, freshly ground
Pinch or two of Mexican oregano
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, and add the onion slices for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.
In a non-reactive bowl, place the rest of the ingredients and stir in the onion
slices. Let sit on
the counter for several hours, and serve with any grilled meats or as a
condiment for Mexican
tacos or fajitas. Pickled onions may be refrigerated for several weeks.
1 bottle red or white wine
1 bottle sparkling water
1 cup simple syrup
1 cup brandy
Make the simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water over medium heat.
combine with other ingredients. Chill.
Seasonal fruits are ideal to add to sangria. In winter, I use citrus fruits like orange, lime and
lemon slices with both red and white wines, perhaps a handful of berries. In summertime, I use
sliced peaches and plums; sliced peaches and strawberries; sliced peaches with
With red sangria, I like all the dark berries, including blueberries,
strawberries, plus plums.