Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Chili freezes well and if you don't have a crowd for the Super Bowl game or other football games, make this amount of chili and freeze the rest for another time. Use your favorite ground chile powder, but the combination of ancho, chipotle, and New Mexico gives this chili a wonderful smoky flavor.

Lee's Kitchen Tips:

There is a difference between chili powder and chile powder. Chili powder (ending with an "i") is a blend of ground chile pods and other spices. Chile powder (ending with an "e") is pure ground chile pods with no additives. 

4 slices applewood smoked bacon, diced (or your favorite bacon)
2 T avocado oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, finely diced   
1 large green bell pepper, finely diced  
1 Jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and minced  
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced                                                              
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs ground sirloin beef
3 (14-oz) cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
2 T ancho chile powder, or your favorite 
1 T chipotle chile powder, or your favorite
1 T New Mexico chile powder, or your favorite 
3 T brown sugar    
1 T smoked paprika                                                
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
1 T freeze-dried or dried oregano
½ t cayenne pepper
¼ t allspice
¼ t ground cinnamon
1 bottle of your favorite beer
3 cups beef broth
1 (14-oz) can chili beans or pinto beans, your choice, rinsed and drained. 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 T masa or corn flour

In a large Dutch oven, add bacon and cook over medium-high heat until crisp.
Pour off grease but save 2 tablespoons in a small bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil and add the onion and peppers.
Sauté for 10 minutes.

Spoon into a large bowl and set aside.

Add the other tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and brown the beef in two batches while breaking up with a wooden spoon. Spoon the browned beef into the bowl with the onion mixture.
Brown the second batch of beef and when brown, return the onion mixture to the Dutch oven and add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients, except the flour, and stir to combine.

Simmer partially covered for 1 ½ hours, stirring often.

Mix the masa or corn flour with the tablespoon of bacon grease or beef broth and add to the chili.
Stir to combine and simmer another 10 minutes.

Suggested condiments for toppings:
Shredded cheddar or pepper-jack cheese
Sliced black olives  
Scallions, thinly sliced
Cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

Serve with Skillet Cornbread with Jalapeño peppers.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


This is a delicious and quick weeknight meal to make. Serve this with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable or salad.

Pork Chops
1 T extra-light olive oil or avocado oil
1 T unsalted butter
4 boneless or bone-in pork chops
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Honey-Garlic-Balsamic Sauce
2 T unsalted butter, divided
2 scallions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 t fresh rosemary, minced
3 T balsamic vinegar
3 T honey
2 T Dijon mustard

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large cast-iron skillet, add the oil and butter and heat over medium-high heat.
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and brown them on each side for 3 minutes.
Transfer pork chops to a platter and set aside.

In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and add the sliced scallions, garlic, and rosemary. Slowly cook for 2 minutes. 
Add the rest of the butter, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Simmer a couple of minutes while stirring.
Add the Dijon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer another minute and serve with noodles or potatoes and a green salad.

Serves 2 to 4

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


You can buy a box of processed yellow rice with MSG and other flavor enhancing chemicals, but this is so much better for you. You can now find less expensive American saffron in your grocery store, and you only need a pinch; if not just add a little more turmeric. This dish is ready in under 30 minutes which makes it perfect for a weeknight meal. I have been making this for 51 years. My children loved it while growing up and of course I made it with 4 pork chops. Now that there's only the two of us, I divided the recipe in half. It is totally delicious and the pork chops remain moist and tender, just don't overcook them.

2 center cut, bone in pork chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T avocado oil
½ medium yellow onion, minced
¾ cup white rice
1 pinch of saffron
1 t turmeric
2 cups chicken stock
1 T unsalted butter
½ cup sour cream

Season chops with salt and pepper.
In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, brown chops in oil for about 3 minutes on each side.
I use a mesh platter screen to keep the stove top from getting covered with grease.

Remove chops and set aside.

Reduce heat to low and add onion to skillet and slowly cook for 5 minutes. 
Add rice, saffron, turmeric, and chicken stock. 
Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Return chops to pan, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 to 18 minutes, or until rice is tender and pork chops register 145 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer. 

Remove chops and stir in butter and sour cream.

Return chops to skillet and take the skillet to the table or spoon onto two plates.

Serves 2