Short Rib Chili

short rib chili

Halloween has come and gone and we somehow forgot to schedule our annual late-October chili night potluck. I guess that’s what happens when life is no longer just about a fun night with friends, but is completely centered around your kids’ Halloween costumes, scouting out the best neighborhood for trick-or-treating, and making it out to the Pumpkin Patch before the moment passes. Check, check, and check. Chili night? No check. Bummer.

To cheer myself up, I decided we would have our very own little chili night, Purvis party of four, three, make that two. Allie’s still on the bottle and Kellan is boycotting food, so BJ and I were left to ourselves with a giant pot of chili. It’s ok though, because this was gooooooood chili. I started with a friend’s already awesome recipe and made some minor changes and one MAJOR addition. Short ribs. Yep. So now we’re talking a three-meat chili made with ground beef, bacon, and beer-braised short ribs. Holy. Cow. Literally.

three meat chili

Take out your calendar, phone, day planner, or if you’re like my husband, a sticky note, and plan a day to make this chili. You’re going to want to get this on the books ASAP. Pick a day when you have nothing else to do because you’re going to want to babysit this one. Low and slow wins the chili race. Add ingredients, taste, add more, cook more, taste again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Great chili is very much a personal preference, so I don’t want you  to limit yourself to my suggested measurements and time frames. Take these ingredients and methods and make them your own. If something sounds like too much heat to you, leave it out. If the idea of honey in your chili weirds you out, skip it. (Actually please don’t skip the honey, it really rounds the whole thing out. Unless you must. Sigh.) Let me know how your chili turns out, especially if you have a delicious addition that I absolutely MUST know about. Happy cooking!!

Short Rib Chili

For the short ribs:

3 lbs. beef short ribs
2 red onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
light Mexican beer
tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil

  1. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a large braiser or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear each side until brown, approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove the short ribs and add in onions and garlic. Cook until softened and beginning to brown.
  2. Add short ribs back to pan and pour in beer until the liquid comes a little over halfway up the sides of the meat. Bring to a boil and stir in oregano. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  3. Cook on low heat for 3 hours. After 3 hours remove the short ribs and pull the meat off the bone and shred. Try to keep the fat separate and discard.

For the chili:

1 lb. bacon
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
4 shallots, diced
2 cans El Pato Mexican tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chili powder, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon cumin, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder, plus more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
3 poblano peppers
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tablespoon honey
large can light Mexican beer

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Bake the bacon for 25 to 35 minutes, or until crispy. Finely chop.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallots and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add ground beef and cook until crumbled, browned and cooked through.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and add bacon, El Pato, beans, spices, and half of the can of beer. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, set the oven to HIGH Broil. Spray the poblano peppers with cooking spray and put on a baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes or so per side, until skin is charred and blistering. When the entire pepper is charred, remove from the oven and place in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 15 minutes. Next, remove blackened skins. Seed and finely chop.
  5. After 2 hours, add the poblano peppers, yellow mustard and honey. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. If it needs tang, add more mustard. If it needs something to take some of the heat out, add more honey. If it needs thinning out, add more beer. Let your tastebuds be your guide.
  6. Lastly, add the short rib. Stir to combine and serve. You can top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, or cornbread croutons. Enjoy!

short rib chili

Perfect Mornings- Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burrito

There are few things in life that my husband loves more than his “perfect morning”.  Yes, me and our little love bugs are absolutely those few things, but BJ can get energy for weeks from just one, seemingly ordinary, perfect morning. He and I have differed on our idea of a great morning since we got married nine years ago. I want to stay in my pjs, hair all askew, and slowly sip a strong cup of coffee on my couch. I don’t want food, and I certainly don’t want to have to look presentable. Just give me my mug, my uggs, and the Food Network. Ahhhhhh. BJ is the opposite. He wants to go to breakfast…always. The man LOVES going to breakfast. Of course, BJ looks just as great when he gets up in the morning as he did when he hit the sheets the night before, so that might have something to do with it. But I kid you not, he would happily go out to breakfast every single day. However, breakfast alone does not a perfect morning make. No, you have to add surfing to the mix to make it to nirvana. This is how it goes down…

5:30 am- Alarm goes off. My alarm, which is unfortunate for me but just always happens to be the case. 

5:40 am- Board shorts on and surfboard loaded onto car. Do I actually know this is what happens when he stumbles out of bed? No. No way! I’m already snoring again, but I imagine that’s what goes on downstairs at those ungodly (WEEKEND!!) hours.

6:05 am- Rolls into San Onofre State Park and waits in line behind a bunch of other crazy people who woke up that early on at Saturday to go hang out in ICY cold water. The line probably isn’t too long, so he’ll be in soon.

6:15 am- Wetsuit is on and he’s paddling out into the surf. He’s still half asleep, but it only takes one splash of 68 degree water in the face to wake him right up.

6:20 am- He sits on his board, feet dangling in the water, facing the purple hills of Camp Pendleton. He watches the sun come up over the mountains and thanks God for the beauty, majesty and peace of it all. This I know. This he’s told me.

6:21 am- Paddles into his first wave and enjoys a long ride to the shore.

6:35 am- Repeat….repeat….repeat….repeat….listen to old surfers talk about the good ‘ol days…catch another wave….repeat….repeat….repeat….witness a young surfer go irate on someone who cut him off, laugh about it because “good grief this is San Onofre”…ride his last wave to the shore.

8:30 am- Loads back up in the car and heads to breakfast. Not any breakfast, of course, he goes for a breakfast burrito.

9:00 am- Takes burrito and a cup of coffee from his favorite shop in San Clemente to a bench by the pier. Eats. Sips and huddles around his cup of joe- his own personal fireplace. Breathes in the salt air and takes a few more minutes to just sit.

9:20 am- Arrives home. Opens the door to see his wife, with her Uggs and her mug, sitting on the couch with a shaggy headed toddler and an already-napping baby girl. Gives her a kiss when she says, “How was it?”

“Perfect,” he says.

Wow. Just writing that make me want to take up surfing! Not really. I’m afraid of deep water. And sharks. Actually all fish to be honest. But man! I think BJ has the perfect morning pretty well perfected. No, it doesn’t happen all that often anymore. Two kids later and all the responsibility that comes with being a 32 year old man providing for his family, those mornings are hard to come by. But that doesn’t mean I can’t give him a small part of his happy place…I can make him food!

I tried my hand at recreating BJ’s favorite breakfast burrito. It’s a simple one really…a thin layer of refried beans, fluffy scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and a few slices of avocado. That’s it! Wrap it all up in a large tortilla and you’re done!

Give these breakfast burritos a try. Who knows, maybe they’ll become a part of your perfect morning too!

Breakfast Burritos

4 large flour tortillas
1 can refried beans, warmed in microwave or on stovetop
2 avocados, sliced
8 eggs, scrambled
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
salsa or pico de gallo, for serving

The trick to perfect at-home burritos is to steam your tortillas. The best way to do this is to place a colander over a pot of simmering water and put a few tortillas down inside it. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to steam for 1 to 2 minutes. You end up with this super stetchy, soft, and pliable tortilla JUST like what you would get at a place like Chipotle. Best trick ever! Probably the most important information you’ll get from this post. 🙂

To assemble:

Taking a steamed tortilla, spread a thin layer of refried beans on one side. Top with about 1/4 cup scrambled eggs, 3-4 avocado slices, and a small handful of cheddar. Begin to roll, tucking the ends under after one time around, and continue rolling until you’ve formed a burrito. Lay seam side down until serving. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve burritos with fresh salsa or pico de gallo.

Mix it up with whatever your favorite breakfast items are. These would be great with home-fried potatoes, bacon, or sausage. You can also add your favorite Mexican accompaniments and cheeses.

Happy cooking!

Cheesy Chicken Mexican Lasagna

cheesy Mexican lasagna

Can I appoint myself Loryn the Lasagna Queen, or is that bad form? I really love making lasagna! The more I make it, the easier I find it to be.  Make a sauce of some kind, layer it with no-boil noodles and cheese, and bake until it’s bubbly. Simple. No-boil noodles are the secret. They remove an annoying step from the whole process, and I don’t think anyone can tell the difference. You just have to make sure the sauce you are using has enough liquid to cook the noodles, and make sure you take that sauce all the way out to the edges so you don’t end up with a crispy, uber-al dente edge. That would just be a pity. I’ve made several delicious lasagnas using this method, and they are always crowd-pleasers. Check them out on the blog if you haven’t already…Tuscan Lasagna, Buffalo-Ranch Chicken Lasagna, and Mega-Meaty Pizza Lasagna. Today I took my love for lasagna in a new direction and tried my first Mexican version. It was incredible. Cheesy, spicy, and tangy…all of the flavor profiles you expect from Mexican food, but all wrapped up in a lasagna. So fun!

mexican lasagna

This Cheesy Chicken Mexican Lasagna could not have been easier to throw together. It really took me only 20-25 minutes to have the whole thing in the oven. You can’t beat that when it comes to homemade lasagna!

whole-mexican-lasagna

I boiled three chicken breasts until they were cooked through, and then shredded them up. Combined the chicken with a jar of salsa verde, fire-roasted green chiles, queso quesadilla cheese, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Then I layered that Mexicany-goodness with the no-boil noodles, Crema Mexicana, more queso quesadilla cheese, and Monterrey jack cheese. Repeat, repeat, and keep repeating until you run out of the chicken mixture. Then top the whole thing with all of the remaining cheese and bake. Now you can call yourself the Lasagna Queen…or King. Serve this next time you have a hankering for Mexican but are over tacos and burritos. It has all of the flavors of your favorite Mexican restaurant, but with an unexpected twist. You’ll love it!

Happy cooking!

mexican lasagna slice

Cheesy Chicken Mexican Lasagna

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of ickiness
1 jar of salsa verde
10 oz. can fire roasted chiles (could substitute Rotel if you want some tomatoes too)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper
no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded Cacique Queso Quesadilla, shredded
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
15 oz container Cacique Crema Mexicana

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and boil until cooked through. Shred.
  3. In a bowl, season shredded chicken with cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir in fire roasted green chilies, salsa verde and one cup of the Queso Quesadilla and 1/2 cup of jack cheese. Combine well.
  4. In the bottom of a baking dish, spread a small amount of the chili-chicken mixture.
  5. Top with layer of lasagna noodles. Spread with another layer of the chicken mixture, making sure to go all the way to the edge with the liquid. Pour Crema Mexicana over the entire layer, again paying close attention to the edges. Top with a layer of shredded jack and Queso Quesadilla.
  6. Continue building casserole alternating between layers of lasagna noodles, green chili-chicken mixture, Crema Mexicana and shredded cheeses.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375(F) oven for 30 minutes. It’s a good idea to spray the bottom side of the foil with nonstick spray so that the cheese doesn’t stick to it.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking another 5-10 minutes until cheese on top has melted and the entire casserole is bubbling and hot.
  9. Allow the casserole to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve alongside sliced avocados and a sprinkle of cilantro.