Merideth and I have had a lot of fun in the past coming up with foods I inspired by our favorite movies and t.v. shows, and I’ve been itching to try bison since I saw it unexpectedly at my grocery store, so the premiere of Westworld last month was perfect! Much easier to figure out than this season’s plot, so far 🙃
I used hickory salt to give this chili a Western type flavor along with the seared vegetables, but feel free to substitute with 3tbs of liquid smoke at the end. If you can’t find bison, ground beef is a just as tasty (though not as lean) alternative.
- 2lbs ground bison
- 1 8oz can each, red and black beans
- 1 8oz can hominy
- 2 poblano peppers
- 2-3 jalapeño peppers
- 2 tomatoes
- 3 corn cobs
- 1 bottle dark or amber beer
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- Olive oil
- hickory salt
- 2tbs oregano
- 2tbs cumin
- 1/4 cup barbeque sauce
- Crumble bison and season with hickory salt and pepper. Brown in grill pan over high heat.
- Do not drain pan. Coat peppers and other vegetables with olive oil and season with hickory salt. Sear vegetables on all sides using tongs, until tomatoes and peppers have blistered.
- Dice vegetables, slicing roasted kernels off the corn cobs. Add to large soup pot or, if using slow cooker, to slow cooker bowl.
- Add ground bison, onion, garlic, beans, sessonings, and hominy to pot.
- Pour bottle of beer into pot, adding more water one empty 8oz can at a time as necessary.
- Simmer for 45 minutes or, if using slow cooker, cook 4 hours on high.
One of the new kitchen toys Amanda received for Christmas was a baking steel. I had acquired one over the summer in an impulse purchase and we both love when one of us gets a new kitchen gadget upgrade. While we’ve both made a few recipes on our baking steels independently (let me tell ya, it’s a game changer), we decided to really test them out we needed a flatbread theme night. I had recently tried an out of the bow Asian-fusion pizza place and so I was interested in making something a little different than the normal pizzas. As you can probably tell from my trend of recipes, tomatoes don’t really excite me, and so traditional pizza doesn’t really excite me (much to my husband’s frustration). So for this DistanceDishes night, I wanted to make a pizza with some non-traditional theme and without tomato sauce.
Amanda’s Korean Styled pizza turned out excellent, and I will be making her recipe in the very near future as just her picture of the result made my mouth water (and you know how I feel about anything Bulgogi related). I wanted mine to be different enough, so I bring you the South American flavors in a flatbread with delicious chimmichurri as the sauce alternative. Each bite was an explosion of flavor, and so satisfying. If you don’t feel up for making a whole pizza out of these ingredients, the steak marinade is worth checking out alone. I was sneaking some bites as I assembled, and no part of this recipe disappoints. Don’t worry if you don’t have a baking steel, a stone or baking sheet will work just fine.
Steak Marinade Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp aji amarillo (Optional)
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Finely grated lime zest
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp Sharp Paprika
- 1 lb flank steak or skirt steak, cut into large strips
- Whisk together all the marinade ingredients and pour over steak strips in a shallow dish or plastic bag. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.
- After, remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry. In a skillet over medium-high heat, sear the strips of steak so that they have a nice brown color on the outside and are rare on the inside. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then cut the strips into 1/2 inch cubes. This can be done ahead of time, or while your pizza oven is preheating.
Chimichurri Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup curly parsley
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro
- 1 tsp dried mexican oregano
- 7 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Juice 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Roughly chop the parsley, cilantro and the garlic in a small bowl or blender. Add the oregano, pepper flakes, salt, lemon juice and olive oil and stir to incorporate.
- Using an immersion blender (or the regular blender), pulse to for break up the herbs and garlic until you have a paste-like consistency, but can still make out individual herb pieces. It should be only about 10-20 seconds of blending needed. Store the sauce in the fridge until ready to assemble your pizza.
- Pizza crust of your choice, go as store bought or homemade as you want
- Cornmeal for the bottom (if desired–you could also use semolina flour if you’d like)
- Diced Red Onions
- Diced Avocado
- Fresh Cilantro
- Diced Bell pepper
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Shredded Oaxaca Cheese
- Chimichurri sauce from recipe above
- Steak, cut into cubes from recipe above.
- Preheat oven to 450°F, and if you are using a stone or a steel, turn your oven on for at least 30 minutes before cooking so that the stone/steel can thoroughly heat.
- Roll out your pizza crust if needed. If transferring to a stone, sprinkle the back of a baking sheet or a pizza peel with cornmeal to form an even layer. Otherwise, sprinkle your baking sheet with cornmeal on the actual baking side. Place your pizza crust on top of this layer.
- Spread a layer of the Chimichurri sauce over the crust, top with the above listed toppings in the distribution of your choice. Place your baking sheet in the oven or slide the pizza off of the back of the baking sheet or peel and onto your stone/steel.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust is slightly golden and cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
Wine Pairing: Even though we’re talking steak here, with all the spices in the marinade and pizza sauce, I think a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc would be a really nice pairing with the spicy flavors.
I originally bought my slow cooker with the intention to never be limited by its size when I wanted to make a meal, which turns out to have backfired. I bought a larger model so that I could cook large, cheap cuts of meat without thinking about the leftover implications. Usually when I use my full sized crockpot, those leftovers sit in the fridge for far too long with my excitement over eating a crockpot creation waning with each reheating (chili again?),. Sure, I could freeze soups for another day, but my freezer is pretty full and since I’m mostly cooking for two, the slowcooker does not make an appearance as often as it should in my home. So, when Amanda and I decided on slow cooker theme week, I knew I needed to make something that would keep me coming back for more.
So as not to get too tired of those leftovers, I knew my plate after the night of the wonderful slow cooker whole chicken dinner had to look different enough to entice me. Chicken is so versatile, and I decided to shred what I did not devour on the first night to turn into a healthy and fresh wrap for the following evening. The result, I think I liked even better than the original intended slow cooker meal. What’s that you say? This wrap looks so delicious but you don’t have the time to cook a whole chicken and deal with that whole other recipe? Well, this one could easily be made into a weeknight meal with some leftover grocery store rotisserie chicken or quick pressure cooked chicken breast–whatever floats your boat. I think this recipe will be making an appearance whenever I get that magical combo of feeling lazy but also wanting to stay pretty healthy (that’s a lot…it happens a lot…).
Oh, and if you do happen to shred your own whole chicken for this recipe, be sure to save the bones to make some broth, like Amanda does (you could even do it in the slow cooker)! That can help turn one slow cooker Sunday into a week of dinner delights.
- 1 cup of shredded cooked chicken
- 3/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
- 1 tsp za’atar seasoning
- Red onion
- Feta cheese
- Cucumber, seeded and sliced thin
- Bread wrap of your choice
- Whisk together your za’atar, lemon juice, 1 tsp of salt and oil to create an emulsion vinaigrette.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette over your cup of shredded chicken with an additional 1/2 tsp of salt and mix
- Spread a layer of your hummus onto your wrap bread to create a cement for the rest of your ingredients.
- Add a layer of spinach, chicken, tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese. Drizzle an addition tsp of your vinaigrette over all of your ingredients and close your wrap as tightly as you can. Slice in half if desired and enjoy!
If you wanted to go the pita route, that’s a delicious option as well!
Wine Pairing: I really want to sit outside on some Mediterranean island while enjoying this wrap and in my mind, a chilled Rose just works with that image. Something medium bodies would stand up nicely to all the acid in this wrap, while also keeping with the lighter feel of the whole experience.
After my Korean-themed dish for the Olympics was a flop (and may have broken my pressure cooker?), I knew this pizza weekend was my opportunity for redemption! This recipe turned out really well, and made for some good leftovers later in the week.The bulgogi marinade is shamelessly stolen from Merideth’s Bulgogi Sub with Gochujang Mayonnaise.
Bulgogi Marinated Pork Belly
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2tbs soy sauce
- 2tsp brown sugar
- 2tbs mirin or rice wine
- 1 apple pear or ya pear, thinly sliced
- 1 red and green bell pepper each, diced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1in ginger, grated
Bulgogi Marinated Pork Belly
- Marinate pork belly overnight, or for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Pat pork belly strips dry and score fat side with diagonal cuts. Lay fat side up on metal baking pan.
- Roast pork belly for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees. Cook for another hour, checking every 5 minutes after 45 minutes have passed.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Dice meat portion and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix together tomato sauce ingredients and spread on prepared pizza crust. For our recipe, we made 4 smaller pizzas.
- Top pizza with pork belly and other toppings. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until edges of pizza crust is a golden brown.
Wine Pairing: I had my first taste of plum wine with this recipe! It’s sweetness was a great aperitif while I waited on the oven. For the rest of the meal, a fruity merlot helped balance the saltiness of the pork belly and marinade.
I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks! Between having the pleasure of visiting Amanda in Tampa (and running a very humid half marathon together), road tripping to Iowa on another adventure and driving to and from the St. Louis airport a few times in the last few weeks I was beat. Plus, somehow while I was away, my oven heating coil suspiciously decided to snap–the maintenance men said “it happens” but I still have my doubts what happened :). So, when Amanda and I were brainstorming themes for this week’s skype date, we were all about that low effort deliciousness. I’ve written about the benefits of using the slow cooker in the summer, but really the slow cooker is great all year round for so many reasons. Between my strong desire to be lazy on the day or our date and the fact my oven was out of commission, this slow cooker meal was just what I needed.
I decided to do a whole chicken and vegetables for this meal, and while Amanda has done a traditionally cooked whole chicken dinner here before, I decided to mix up the spices a bit so that I could repurpose the leftovers into something delicious the following night. I even saved the bones so that I could make chicken stock, as Amanda demonstrated previously. The flavors are light and remind me of a warmer season, which makes this a nice choice for both the summer and winter. Plus, if you ever make this chicken for a dinner party, they’d never know how little prep and effort this really takes!
- 1 tbsp za’atar seasoning
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 whole chicken, giblets and neck removed if applicable
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- vegetables of your choice to line the bottom of the slow cooker (I used 2 potatoes, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, and 1 zucchini)
- 1 lemon, cut into quarters
- 2-3 stalks of thyme
- 1/2 bulb of garlic (ish)
- Mix together the above spices listed (from za’atar to oregano) and the salt.
- Chop your vegetables into large chunks (since it will be cooking for a long time, you don’t want them to be so small they fall apart), and add them to the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Miz your softened butter with your blended spices to form a butter paste. Spread generously over your chicken and try to get some under the skin on the breasts and legs if possible.
- Stuff 1 quarter of your lemon (add the rest to your vegetable layer in your slow cooker), at least 5 garlic cloves and a quarter to half of an onion (whatever you can fit) into the cavity of your chicken. If you have garlic leftover, sprinkle amongst your veggies.
- Place the chicken on top of your veggies, cover with your lid and cook on low for 8 hours. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165°F at the end of the time period, and return to the cooker for additional time if needed.
- Optional: If you would like crispy skin on your bird, move your chicken to a baking sheet and broil in the oven on normal setting for 2-5 minutes depending on the strength of your broiler (keep an eye on it! Mine goes from perfect to charred mess in about 2 seconds).
- Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and carve, and enjoy with your cooked vegetables as well. You can shred any remaining chicken for a variety of recipes. This one fed me for a few more meals so stay tuned for how I repurposed my leftovers!
Wine Pairing: Since this one is light with a hint of lemon, I think a perfectly chilled Pinot Grigio would be a nice light pairing to go with these yummy flavors.
After two weeks of activities after work and traveling, Merideth and I were not in the mood to get complicated with our dinners this week. Based off a classic French sauce recipe, this roast felt fancy (even though it takes only about 10 minutes of prep!)
- 2-3lbs chuck roast
- 3tbs butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, rinsed and stemmed
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2tbs chopped thyme
- salt and pepper
- Heat butter over medium high heat and sear and sear chuck roast, approximately 2 minutes on each side. Put roast into slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper as desired
- Simmer shallots in butter until translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add shallots, mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and thyme to slow cooker. Pour over wine and beef broth.
- Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours and serve with mushrooms.
Wine Pairing: My favorite thing about cooking with wine is that, after preparing the recipe, you’re left with an open bottle! Don’t be wasteful – enjoy the roast with the red wine from your recipe; in my case, I used a cabernet sauvignon from France.
With the Winter Games happening earlier this year, Amanda and I wanted to celebrate those South Korean flavors much like we did with the Summer Games in Brazil. There’s nothing quite like taking a huge bite of delicious food from the comfort of your couch while watching athletes in their physical prime work their hardest for gold. I know bulgogi is one of the best known foods from Korea, but to me it does have a special place in my heart.
Back when my preferences were only for chicken nuggets and french fries, my parents had a favorite sandwich place near our house that specialized in bulgogi sub sandwiches. They would often treat themselves to a foot-long and the aromas would permeate the air in the car as they brought them back home, often lingering for days. While anything with such a name I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole at the time, I remember loving that smell. Years later when my eyes were opened to the deliciousness of bulgogi, I still lament that I never had the chance to try that sub (and duh, anything that smells that great should taste so amazing). With this theming, this seemed like the perfect chance to create my version! I’ve come a long way since then; I mean I even added vegetables voluntarily! The fresh crunch of the veggies with the bold flavors of the mayonnaise and bulgogi really make this sandwich a memorable treat and I encourage you to try your own, even though the games are long over now.
- 2 lbs of thinly sliced sirloin or ribeye*
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp minced garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1/2 onion, diced (4 green onions also work)
- Black pepper
*If you can’t find thinly sliced beef, you can pop your preferred cut into the freezer for 30 minutes and then slice as thinly as you can manage.
- Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients and pour over the beef in a shallow dish or zip-top bag. Allow to marinate for at least one hour, ideally overnight.
- When you are ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and remove the beef from the marinade. Sear the beef in batched so as not to overcrowd the pan, until the beef is cooked through. At this point, bulgogi can be enjoyed over rice, as part of another dish or in the sandwich we’re making here.
Mayonnaise* Ingredients :
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp gochujujang
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 cup olive oil
- Up to 2 tbsp water
- Using a food processor, combine the lemon juice, egg yolk, gochujang and grapeseed oil. Process on low until you have a thick consistency and the color has lightened.
- With the processor on low (you can also use a whisk), drizzle the olive oil in slowly to create an emulsion. This might take a few minutes. Once the oil is combined, the color has lightened further and you have a mayonnaise consistency you are ready for use. Add in the water to achieve your desired consistency, and add salt to taste. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or so and then you can store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
*If the idea of raw eggs isn’t your game, you can always try mixing gochujang with some store-bought mayo, proportions to your taste.
- Baguette or bread of your choice, although I’d recommend a sturdy one.
- Shredded carrots (I used slices made with a peeler but the pre-shredded ones could work as well)
- Mild onions, or you could try a quick pickled onion recipe
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- I like to spread a layer of the mayonnaise on the bottom half of the bread, topped with the lettuce to keep it in place. Then add your carrots, cucumber, beef and finally onions. Top with more mayonnaise if desired, add your top half of bread, and enjoy!
Wine Pairing: I think a Pinot Noir would go well with the beef as well as stand up to the spicy mayo. Enjoy!
While Amanda and I both enjoy going all out for these posts, sometimes we just don’t have the time. We generally cook and skype to discuss our meals on the weekend so we have all day to putter around in the kitchen. Not this time. For this meal, we wanted to make something quick and seasonal that we might actually bother to make on a weeknight when we’re just trying to have a nutritous dinner after a long day. I’ve made this dish a few times on weeknights and it always satisfies. It’s also a great winter dish with apples and brussels sprouts being in season. Plus, if you cook the eggs directly in the pan instead of as topped with it as pictured, it ends up being a one pan meal. I don’t know about you, but on a weeknight I am all about less dishes (well, on all nights really).
- 2 cups shredded brussels sprouts
- 2 small red potatoes, shredded or cubed to make about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 small or 1 large granny smith apple, shredded or diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 6 eggs
- Dried Italian herbs if desired
- Place the cubed pork tenderloin in a medium-sized bowl and add a teaspoon of salt, teaspoon of pepper, the white wine, apple sauce, thyme, rosemary and and a sprinkle of any other italian herbs that strike your fancy. Toss to combine.
- Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or cover and marinate in the fridge up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil and add the pork. Cook until all sides are brown and meat is mostly cooked through.
- Transfer the pork from the skillet to a plate to await being added later.
- Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and cook until the shallot becomes translucent–about 3-4 minutes and be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the shredded potatoes and a pinch of salt, and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are starting to soften slightly. Then add your brussel sprouts and apple.
- Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, then reincorporate your pork. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. At this point, you can serve as is or add an egg.
- To add eggs, you have two options: you can fry them up separately in another pan to your liking (I do this when I suspect I’ll have leftovers so I can top with a fresh egg later) or you can cook in the same pan. To do the second option, make 4-6 divets in the hash mixture and crack an egg in each hole. Cover with a lid, and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the eggs have a white film over them and are no longer too jiggly.
- Scoop onto a plate and enjoy!
Wine Pairing: Well, you have some of that white wine leftover right? No? A Chardonnay’s butteriness might be a nice match with the tartness of the apple flavor.
The winter sick season is real this year. Right after the New Year, both Amanda and I got hit with maladies and were both craving something that would bring some kind of comfort. As we each huddled under a blanket of tissues in our pjs on our respective couches, we both craved a dish that would warm our bellies and bring a bunch off flavor. You must know by now how we both feel about curry and Amanda made herself a wonderful curry meal. I wish I could have gone the same route, but since my nose was hopelessly stuffed up, I couldn’t taste a thing. I knew that the nuances of a delicious curry would be lost on me and better saved for a healthier day. The one thing I both craved and knew I could taste was a nice, brothy soup.
This Miso-Ginger noodle soup hits all the criteria I was looking for in a sicky meal. The saltiness and punch of the miso, I knew could fight past my currently restricted senses. Broth and fluids are always a good choice when sick, and ginger helps to settle the stomach. Plus, I just wanted to slurp something–enter soba noodles. This soup made me feel all warm and fuzzy, an impressive feat while sick, but is also good enough to enjoy when you’re feeling 100% as well.
- 1 tsp oil
- 6 cups broth (I used homemade chicken broth Amanda’s recipe but vegetable broth could easily be used to make this dish vegan. I would definitely recommend low-sodium though)
- 1/4 cup miso paste (I used half and half red and white, but any combo would work)
- 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 carrot, sliced into half moons, about 1/4-1/2 in wide
- 3 green onions, sliced with greens and whites separated
- 1 inch knob of ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- Cooked Soba noodles, amount of your preference.
- Soy Sauce to taste
- Sriracha to taste
- In at least a 2 quart pot, drizzle the oil into the pot over medium heat. Add the whites of the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the broth, miso, mushrooms, carrot, ginger and garlic. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the carrots are fork tender, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spinach and cabbage. Once they are wilted to your liking, taste the soup and add soy sauce and sriracha to your preferred taste.
- Add some cooked soba noodles to the bottom of your soup bowl (however much you want) and pour the miso soup over the noodles. You are ready to serve and enjoy!
Wine Pairing: Well, if you’re up for a glass with this soup and not currently getting over an illness (or if you still are, you do you), a full-bodied Chardonnay would probably be able to stand up with the heavy flavors of the miso. Plus, a nice chilled glass of wine with a hot bowl of soup might be a nice mix. Enjoy!
The flu hit Merideth and I hard at the beginning of this year, so we wanted to make meals that we low key, warming, and flavorful enough to soothe our sniffles. With its warm spices and forgiving ingredients, curry is my go-to comfort food. I mixed my own curry powder for this out of turmeric, paprika, ginger, white pepper, and a pinch of salt, but any curry spice you have on hand will make a tasty dinner. I also roasted my own whole chicken (part of my stubborn determination not to turn on my heater in Florida), but to make this even easier, you can use a premade, grab and go chicken available at the grocery store or deli.
- Whole chicken, cooked (or store bought rotisserie chicken)
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 4 tbs garam masala or other curry powder
- 3 tbs fish sauce
- 2tbs tamarind paste
- 2 tbs fenugreek
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- 2-3 shallots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3tbs butter
- 2 cups spinach
- Cooked rice, to serve
- Debone cooked chicken and put bones into a medium pot. Cover with 6 cups water and simmer until reduced, about 30-45 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Melt butter in a large pot. Add diced shallots and minced garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and garam masala to pot and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Cut incisions in the tomatoes and add tomatoes and chicken to pot and ladle chicken broth into the mixture until curry has reached desired consistency.
- Simmer for 30 minutes and serve over rice!