When I was newly married and very young, cooking was quite the adventure. We lived in a tiny little apartment as managers. Just to give you an idea of how tiny our apartment was, the bathroom was so small you had to put your feet up on the bathtub to sit down on the toilet. lol! The kitchen was itty bitty and I didn't have a dishwasher or much space to work with. What I did have was a gas stove a tiny counter top, a sink and a wobbly kitchen table. I never felt like I was lacking anything and I was so thrilled to have a place of our own. I painted every room a different color and we had people over constantly. I cooked for them all.
My Gran and Papi were my best friends growing up. I loved their house. I had my own room and my own cat and of course my favorite foods. They shared the cooking - pretty progressive for their generation. There was nothing quite like going to visit them and smelling the aroma of butter flavored crisco and onions and browning tortillas fill the air. The sound of the gas burners snap snap snapping, the excitement I would get to sit on the counter to stir a pot.
Well, I still love to eat their cooking but I'll be honest I don't own any butter flavored Crisco. I rarely fry my food and I generally choose some different ingredients when I make the family classics. So this is my take on my grandparent's pork chop chili. They use actual pork chops cube them and coat them in flour. Then they are fried with quite a bit of "grease." The browning bits and the grease all become part of a gravy that also includes onion, green chilies and cilantro.
This is served over hot homemade tortillas with cheddar cheese and sour cream. (In true grandparent tradition the recipe for the tortillas is as follows: 1 part water, 1 part oil (butter flavored crisco) salt and flour until its not sticky anymore.) Now as I said it really does taste delicious!! But my stomach can't handle the grease.
So my mom and I have kind of fine tuned a flavorful couple of substitutions that capture the flavor without the tummy ache. AND you guys, we use the crockpot! Can I just say how much I LOVE crockpot meals. They are so easy.
The main changes to the recipe are that there is NO Crisco in my recipe and we will use a pork loin roast instead of porchops.
So, lets get started! Break out the crockpot and get ready to be impressed.
2 to 3 lb pork loin roast cut into 2 in cubes
1 4oz can of green chilies
1/2 an onion
2 tbsp fresh cilantro choped finely
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 cup of water
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp corn starch and1/4 cup cool water to thicken at the end
1. Cut up your pork loin into 2 in cubes. Add to crockpot. ( Tip: for extra flavor you can lightly brown on the stove top before adding to the crockpot.)
2. Dice your onion and mince your garlic. Add to crockpot. (Again you can lightly brown your onions if you choose)
3. Finely mince your cilantro. Add to crockpot.
4. Add all seasonings and just enough water (about 1 cup) to almost cover the meat. Stir and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
5. When you time is almost up make some homemade tortillas. You're welcome to use my grandma's sort of vague reipe. I promise it's delicious, but this is the recipe I use.
6. When your time is up turn your crockpot to high. Mix cornstarch and cool water together and add to to crockpot. Stir. Once the liquid starts to bubble it will thicken and be ready
7. Fill your tortilla with refried beans, the pork chop chili, sour cream and cheese. We also like guac with it.
Once you try it let me know what you think! It's one of my very favorite meals to make. It's quick and easy too, so super bonus. Does your family have a go to recipe or a favorite comfort food. Is there something you make that makes you feel like you're back home? Tell me all about it. I love to try new things! Eat well and as always Stay Crafty!
One thing I'm going to be sharing is family recipes and those of my own creation. My multi-ethnic background has made for quite the variety of foods going across our table. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love to try new foods but I always come back to those that remind me of home. The ones my Mama or my Grandma made me over and over. The tastes of my childhood. It's funny because a lot of times I find out the foods I loved as a child were the simple things that my Mama made over and over because they were easy. One of those is this quick, easy and CHEAP soup. I usually make this when its cold outside and I would rather be hibernating than slaving over a stove. It's great for a budget and it can stretch for several meals. This soup can be as easy as 3 ingredients! Are you ready to make dinner with minimal effort and minimal cost? Good me too! And the great news is even my kiddos will eat this one.
3 Ingredient Soup
Kielbasa Sausage (I use turkey kielbasa because it's less greasy)
Small Cabbage ( basically the whole thing)
Potatoes ( about 3 large) (I used the equivalent in small red potatoes but you can use any potatoes you have lying around.)
Optional - Onion and Garlic (about half a medium white onion and 2 large cloves of garlic diced)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Dice your Potatoes.
Slice your kielbasa in bite sized pieces.
Chop your cabbage in strips.
Add potatoes and and kielbasa to a stock pot cover with enough water that there is room to add cabbage later. Bring to a boil.
Lower heat to a simmer and add cabbage ( and onions and garlic if you choose).
Cook until potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Do not overcook or the cabbage will get slimey. (gross)
Add salt and pepper to taste. Admittedly it does seem to take a lot of salt!
Now I know it might not sound that great but like I said even my kids will eat this and they hate everything. It is very good. It is very easy. It is very cheap. Do you have a family recipe you want to share? Is there something you make that's quick, easy and cheap? Tell me all about it because quick, easy and cheap is my jam! Enjoy your hot soup and as always Stay Crafty!