Friday, September 10, 2010

ricotta cheese toasts and beef barley "chili"

These Ricotta Cheese Toasts are so simple, yet indulgent.  I combined one cup of part-skim ricotta cheese with 1 tsp/1 cube frozen fresh chopped basil, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  Then, I spread it on freshly toasted Companion French Bread slices.

Honestly, I love anything that includes a crusty, tasty, freshly baked bread.

Last night was the first "chilly" evening of fall.  I'm sure the Indian Summer will return, but the cool breeze called for a warm and cozy dinner.  

This chili is a take on a common winter dish at my house, Barley Stew.  My hubby relishes soup or stew of any kind, but barley is a particular favorite.  Last nights version was made with chili powder (high quality is best), cumin, and oregano as the main herbs and spices.  

First, I sauteed a traditional mirepoix (a combo of carrots, celery and onion) in 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil.  I used one medium onion, three ribs of celery and three carrots. 

Then, I added two cloves of chopped garlic. 

After a couple of minutes, I added one pound of cooked ground sirloin.  Two tbsp chili powder, approx 1 tbsp ground cumin, 2 tsp dried oregano, salt and pepper. 

Next, I added one 32 oz carton of vegetable broth, one can of diced tomatoes, and a little over one cup of quick cooking barley (I use Mother's brand).  

After simmering for around 30 minutes...we enjoyed with a large dollop of light sour cream. 

Mmm. Warm and tasty.

Sharing with...
Weekend Wrap-Up Party at Tatortots and Jello

1 comment:

Lu said...

Yum! We have had a few chilly nights, perfect for soups and chilis, so far and this sounds wonderful. You're far more gourmet than me, but thanks to you, I now know what a mirepoix is. :)

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