Kidney Bean Chili Pizza

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Palatable Possibilities: Kidney Bean Chili Pizza! If you like the spiciness of chili and can’t resist a slice of gooey cheese pizza, prepare yourself for an endorphin rush like no other. Happiness is contagious and I guarantee you, chili pizza will put you in a good mood. Now let me be clear, the pizza itself is not “make you sweat hot”, which is why I listed the hot pepper rings and sriracha as garnishes to taste. To each his own. I probably overdo the spiciness compared to my husband. Just remember, if it’s too spicy, drink milk. It soothes the body much better than soda, beer, or water.

KIDNEY BEAN CHILI PIZZA

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 envelope original chili seasoning mix

14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

15-ounce kidney beans, with juice

12-inch prepared pizza crust

1/4 cup red onions, sliced

2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Hot pepper rings, for garnish

Sliced green olives, for garnish

Sriracha Sauce, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Drain fat. Stir in chili seasoning mix, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spoon chili evenly onto crust. Layer with sliced red onions. Cover all with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is crispy. Top with hot pepper rings and green olives. Drizzle with sriracha sauce. Serve immediately.

Turmeric Roast Beef

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Bright Ideas: Turmeric Roast Beef! Turmeric is a spice in the world of superfoods. It begins as a plant, but the roots hold all the benefits. Turmeric can usually be found in the spice aisle of your favorite grocery store. Its golden-orange color makes a quick scan for identification pretty easy. The aroma has an earthiness to it, which is a compliment for vegetables and beef. Once you try it, your mind may wander to curry dishes, chili soup, and beyond.

TURMERIC ROAST BEEF

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound chuck roast

2 cups beef broth

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon Salty Wahine Hawaiian Seasoning*

5-6 potatoes, washed with skin on, cut into bite-size chunks

16 ounces baby carrots, whole

10 ounces pearl onions, whole

1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes

Instructions:

Place the chuck roast in the slow cooker. Pour beef broth over meat. Sprinkle with turmeric and Salty Wahine Hawaiian Seasoning. Set slow cooker on Low heat for 4 hours. After that time, add the potato chunks, baby carrots, and pearl onions. Continue on Low setting for 4 more hours. Remove roast and vegetables to a platter. Garnish with parsley flakes. Reserve juices for au jus, gravy base, or soup starter.

*I receive no recompense for mentioning Salty Wahine Hawaiian Seasoning.

Kielbasa Hot Dogs

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Bright Ideas: Kielbasa Hot Dogs! If you like to try something a little different than ordinary hot dogs, choose a beef sausage link that focuses more on natural flavorings like garlic, woodsmoke, cloves, or pimento. Personally, I lean more toward nitrate-free labeling, which means the preservatives are natural rather than chemically added. Every little bit helps, because sometimes eating a grilled hot dog just makes the world a happier place.

KIELBASA HOT DOGS

Ingredients:

13-ounce package of 4 kielbasa smoked sausage links, fully cooked

4 brioche split-top brioche hot dog buns

1/2 sweet onion, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup sweet pickle relish

1/4 cup yellow mustard

Instructions:

Preheat gas grill to 400°. Arrange smoked sausage links directly on the grill grates. Close lid. The total cooking time should be approximately 12 minutes. After 3 minutes, using tongs rotate each sausage link a quarter turn. Close lid. After 3 more minutes, rotate another quarter turn. Repeat until all sides have been slightly charred. It helps to keep the sausage links from touching as they cook; this allows the heat to sear the skins evenly. When finished transfer to a platter and serve with chopped onion, sweet pickle relish, and yellow mustard.

Grill Pan Kabobs

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Bright Ideas: Grill Pan Kabobs! Sooo, what do you have for dinner when you plan on kabobs, but can’t find the skewers among all the kitchenware you’ve unpacked during the recent move? The answer: Improvise, by using a grill pan. After all, once the ingredients are cooked and presented for dinner, everyone grabs a fork to “shish” the food off the skewer onto the plate anyway. I see your eyes glazing over as you nod your head in agreement. Focus. The end result is still phenomenal. Now dig in. Your tummy will thank me.

GRILL PAN KABOBS

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 pound beef tenderloin, cut into chunks

1/2 pound chicken tenderloin, cut into cubes

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks

4 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems removed

4 ounces cherry tomatoes

Instructions:

In a measuring cup, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, dry mustard, thyme, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper. Place the beef tenderloin chunks and chicken tenderloin cubes in a large zip-lock plastic bag. Pour half the marinade mixture into the bag, seal, shake, and refrigerate for one hour. Set aside remaining marinade for basting sauce while grilling. Preheat gas grill to 500°. Remove beef and chicken pieces from bag; discard marinade. Allow beef and chicken to “rest” at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Transfer beef chunks, chicken cubes, red onion, green pepper, red pepper, mushroom caps, and cherry tomatoes onto a large grill pan that has been sprayed with nonstick oil. Brush kabobs with reserved marinade. To cook medium-rare steak kabobs (charred exterior, pink center), place the grill pan on the hot grill. Chicken tenderloins will cook in the same amount of time, with edges turning white. Close the lid to retain heat temperature. Set timer for 5 minutes. Then using a long-handled tongs, flip, rotate, and move larger pieces of beef and chicken on the grill pan to be in the center of the flame. Vegetables will char faster than the meat. Watch carefully. Cook the kabobs an additional 5 minutes, with the lid closed. Once finished, remove grill pan and turn off the grill. Allow food to “rest” for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chorizo Beef Burger

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Bright Ideas: Chorizo Beef Burger! It’s crazy the foods we try, simply because we have a craving that refuses to compromise. During Covid-19, many restaurants and fast-food eateries would either not open, limit drive-through options, or simply close due to illness and labor shortages. Late one night, the hubs wanted a burger for dinner. We tried 3 different places without success. The only one open was a Mexican Cantina. We masked up, entered, and were seated in the bar at an isolated table for two. That’s when he saw it……a chorizo burger was listed on the menu. I think you know the rest of the story. Once we got home, you can guess what grocery items I added to the list on the refrigerator.

CHORIZO BEEF BURGER

Ingredients:

1/2 pound bulk chorizo sausage

1 pound lean ground beef

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cornmeal

4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

4 brioche buns, split

Toppings: Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Cilantro, and Salsa

Instructions:

In large bowl, combine chorizo sausage, lean ground beef, sea salt, black pepper, and cornmeal. Shape mixture into 4 patties, 1/2-inch thick. Place patties on preheated grill, over medium heat. Close grill cover. Cook 6-7 minutes, per side. Flip once. A meat thermometer inserted in the center needs to read 160°F. During last 2 minutes of cooking, top each chorizo patty with shredded cheese. Place buns, cut side down, on grill. Cook until cheese is melted and buns are toasted. Remove burgers and buns from grill. Serve immediately, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and salsa to taste.

New York Strip Steak

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Waste Not, Want Not: New York Strip Steak! The secret to a good steak, when grilling, is to crank up the heat. It took years to figure this out because grilling is different than baking. A steak likes to have the outside seared, or even charred, in order to keep those wonderful juices inside. The secret is to get the outside seared as soon as possible. When I asked my husband how high the gas grill was set, he replied, “All the way up!” Next, take your cell phone because you’re going to need a timer. For me, the soft pink center of a medium-rare steak is perfection. Obviously, if you prefer it more well done, you add extra time. Ready? Grilling season is upon us.

NEW YORK STRIP STEAK

Ingredients:

1-inch thick New York strip steaks,(for two)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 tablespoon butter, per steak

Instructions:

Remove steak(s) from the refrigerator 20 minutes before grilling. Season both sides with sea salt and black pepper. Preheat gas grill to highest setting. When you hold your hand over the grill, you have to pull it back immediately. Place steaks directly on grill for 4 minutes. Close the lid. Flip and sear the remaining side for another 3 minutes, with lid closed. Remove from heat and allow steaks to “rest” on a platter for 5 minutes. Add a pat of butter at this time. Serve steak immediately.

Grass-Fed Beef Tostadas

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Waste Not, Want Not: Grass-Fed Beef Tostadas! If you like the taste of corn tacos, the tostada is a distant cousin. Basically, one is folded, the other is flat. Brushed with oil, then “toasted” crisp, the tostada is made to hold the toppings. This recipe allows you to bend the tortilla if you prefer to eat it that way. Whatever falls onto the plate can be scooped back up into your mouth. No judgment here. Now, about grass-fed beef. It’s going to cost a little more per pound due to the lack of fat content, compounded by the extra time it takes to fatten the cow. Grain makes cows get fat faster, just like it does for humans. I like grass-fed because it is more nutritious with heart-healthy omega 3s plus vitamins. It’s all about the choices we make.

GRASS-FED BEEF TOSTADAS

Ingredients:

1 pound grass-fed ground beef

1 packet fajita seasoning dry mix

1/3 cup canola oil

8 corn tortillas

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, gently torn

1-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 red onion, sliced thin

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Fresh cilantro, leaves only

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 250°. Because grass-fed beef has a lower fat content, steaming it is a good option. In a medium skillet, cover the bottom with water. Crumble the ground beef into the water. Set the stovetop temperature to medium-high. Break up any large clumps. Allow the water to boil. Stir the meat to cook evenly. Turn often. When the meat is brown, it is done. Drain the cooked ground beef using a strainer. Dispose of water and grease. Return ground beef to the pan. Sprinkle with fajita seasoning mix. Stir well to coat. Have the burner on lowest setting to keep warm. Spray a shallow skillet with nonstick oil. Set heat to medium-high. Brush one side of corn tortilla with canola oil. Place oiled side down in skillet. Brush the remaining side with canola oil. Fry the shell until golden for 30 seconds to a minute per side. This makes the shell fairly stiff. If the pan begins to smoke, lower the heat setting slightly. Remove the tortilla and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Keep tortillas warm in the oven. Repeat process with remaining tortillas. To assemble, begin with a fried tortilla. Layer with iceberg lettuce, seasoned ground beef, chopped tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese, and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with guacamole and salsa.

Angus Beef Burger

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Waste Not, Want Not: Angus Beef Burger! Anyone who is a beef-eater understands that when meat has a high level of marbling, it keeps it moist for longer when cooking. Why is marbling important, you wonder? Because the fat ratio is scattered throughout creating juicy, tender, and more flavorful results. Long story, short, angus beef means better burger. No one wants a hockey puck for a hamburger. Right? Although it may cost a little more per pound, the end results are worth it.

ANGUS BEEF BURGER

Ingredients:

1 pound Angus beef, ground

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Lettuce, tomato, bacon and condiments as desired

Instructions:

Preheat a gas grill on High temperature. Form the ground beef into four equal portions. Season both sides of each patty with sea salt and black pepper. Brush the burgers with olive oil. Grill the burgers for 3 minutes until brown and slightly charred. Flip over. Do not press down to release juices! Cook 4 minutes longer, for medium rare, until golden and charred. Grill longer for desired results. Assemble the burgers on toasted buns. Add fixings and condiments to taste. Serve immediately.

Texas Tony’s Rib & Brewhouse in Naples, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Texas Tony’s Rib & Brewhouse in Naples, Florida! Look for the curls of woodsmoke arising from the barbecue smoker along Tamiami Trail. It’s mighty important to slow cook cuts of beef brisket and pork butts so the exterior is browned just right while the interior remains tender and juicy. Barbecuing is an art, after all. Follow the smoke signals to enter Texas Tony’s where the meat is cooked low and slow all day long to achieve perfection. Using orange tree wood seems to be the Floridian secret. Mild, but definitely delicious. Dinners are complemented by homemade corn bread or Texas toast, sweet coleslaw, baked potato, or cowboy beans. And the sauces: sweet, tangy, spicy. Go wild; mix and match. Everything gets washed down easily when drinks are 2 for 1 all day long. Better check out what you might be missing.