Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week 1: Lemon Dill Orzo with Chicken

What a fantastic weekend!  Football is officially back and better than ever.   At least it’s better than ever if you are a Pats fan.  And if you're not a Pats fan... well, I guess nobody is perfect.

Our first football Sunday was great!  I made Chili to celebrate the beginning of tailgating season and the hubby retreated to Dantown where he could finish some work and yell at the TV without me taunting him.  

This recipe originally came from Erica and has been adapted a few times over the past year to better suit our tastes.  Erica and Eric love HEAT.  I like heat.  I would even say I have a small crush on heat but I don’t L-O-V-E it.  That being said, her original recipe had twice as many hot peppers and much more Chili Powder and Cayanne.  

Beef and Beer Chili
  • 1.5 Lb Hamburger
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Habanero Pepper, diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Serrano Pepper, diced
  • ½ Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 Can (12.8 oz) Crushed Tomatos
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Bottle Beer (The darker the better)
  • ¾ Can Kidney Beans, rinsed
  • ½ Can Black Beans, rinsed
  • 1 pkg Hot and Spicy Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cayanne Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper

1. In a large pan, heat EVOO and add Onions.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add Beef and Brown.  When beef is done, spoon out excess fat and add all peppers.  Cook 10 minutes.
2. Add Spices, mix.  Add Beer, Tomatoes and Tomato Paste, and beans.  Stir and simmer 1 hour.
3. Serve with Melted Cheese, Green Onion and Sour Cream or over a Baked Potato.

Monday was even better.  517 yards!  Fan-friggin-tastic.  Since we were playing Miami, we went with Citrus Fruits as our base again.  We had Lemon Dill Orzo with Baked Dill Chicken.  It’s one of Dans favorite dishes.  

Lemon Dill Orzo with Baked Dill Chicken
  • 2 Split Chicken Breasts
  • ½ Box Orzo
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Dill, chopped
  • 1 Stalk Celery, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • ½ Green Pepper, diced
  • ½ Red Pepper, diced
  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • 3-4 Lemons
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Thyme
  • White Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.  Season Chicken with EVOO, Salt, Pepper, Thyme, White Pepper and Dill.  Bake 40 minutes or until done.
2. Cook Orzo according to package.  Drain and Set aside.
3. In a large pan, melt 1 Tbsp butter and the juice of half a lemon and cook Celery and Carrots for 3-5 minutes.  Add Peppers and Onions and juice from the rest of the first lemon.  When Onions start to look transluscent, melt the rest of the butter.
4. Add the cooked Orzo and the juice of 2 more lemons.  Stir until coated.  Season with Salt, Pepper and approximately 4 Tbsp Dill.  Taste and add more Lemon or Dill according to your tastes.  Let sit together until Chicken is done and serve.

Happy Cooking!