Mini Crab Cakes

Got the inspiration for this recipe from here

olive oil
1/2 a yellow onion, small dice
1/2 cup small dice celery
1 whole red bell pepper, small dice
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2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp capers, drained
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
6 ounce can crab, drained
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
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1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Grainy mustard
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1 large egg

coat a cast iron skillet with olive oil

and heat pan to medium heat and then add in the onion, celery, red bell peppers, parsley, capers, Worcestershire sauce,
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and Old Bay Seasoning
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and cook until the vegetables are soft,
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about 10-15 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while you prep the rest.

In a large bowl, add the crabmeat
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then add the bread crumbs,
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(I was trying to be healthy and use Greek Yogurt instead of Mayonnaise, but after mixing everything together, you do need the mayonnaise, so I recommend adding it)
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mustard (I added in two kinds of mustard – Dijon and Grainy mustard)
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and egg. (I also added a little dill to my crab cakes)

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Then I mixed it all up and then I added in Cajun seasoning, to taste (Because I LOVE IT)
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Then Add the cooled, cooked veggies.

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and mix everything together
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this is the point I tried the mixture and didn’t care for it without the mayonnaise so at this point is when I added in the mayonnaise, then mixed it in and yeah, tasted better with it
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Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the crab cake chilled I made some remoulade sauce…

I ALWAYS use this recipe because it’s the bestest!

Remoulade Sauce:
1 C mayonnaise
the recipe calls for Creole mustard, but I don’t have creole mustard, so I use grainy mustard and horseradish and I do 1/4 cup grainy mustard and then about a 1-2 TBSP of Horseradish
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
I also add Cajun seasoning, to taste as well
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Mix the mayonnaise
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Grainy mustard
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and horseradish
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cayenne pepper
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fresh, lemon juice
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Worcestershire sauce
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paprika
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and then 1 tsp of the Cajun seasoning
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I whisked everything in a medium bowl, to make sure it gets mixed really well, and then I stir with a spoon
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keep chilled in fridge until you are ready to use it
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OK now back to the crab cakes

scoop about 1/4 cup of cab mixture into your hands and form a crab ball and then form into a crabby patty and place on a plate or cutting board (like I did) and finish making the cakes until all of the crab mixture is gone.

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Then heat a large cast iron skillet and a small cast iron skillet to medium heat and add a little oil to the bottom of each pan to coat it. I did two pans so I could cook all the crab cakes at once

Once the pans are hot add the crab cakes
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Don’t overcrowd the cakes so you can flip them.

cook the cakes for about 15-20 minutes. I cooked one side for about 5-7 minutes then flipped them and cooked until they were golden brown on each side
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Once they are cooked, serve them up with the Remoulade Sauce you made
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Recipe

For the soup:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 large red onion, diced
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2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
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1 jalapeno pepper, diced
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1 lime, juiced and zested
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz) can green chilies
1 (14.5) oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 Tbs. tomato paste
32 oz low sodium chicken broth
Salt & Pepper to taste

for garnish
sliced limes
diced avocado
Tortilla chips
salsa
chopped fresh cilantro
shredded cheese
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, kosher salt, oregano and paprika.
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Brush both sides of each chicken breast with light coating of olive oil.
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Sprinkle a small amount of the spice mixture onto both sides and each chicken breast
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and transfer to a non-stick baking sheet. Roast the chicken in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool for 10 minutes,
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and then shred. (I cubed mine).
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While the chicken cooks, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch Oven.
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Add the onions
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and garlic,
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along with a pinch of salt, and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onions are very fragrant and they begin to soften. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno pepper,
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lime juice
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and zest and cilantro
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and stir well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Add the remaining spice mixture, black beans,
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green chilies,
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diced tomatoes
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and stir well.
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Cook for about 6 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.

Slowly stir in the chicken broth

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and add the cooked chicken
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and bring the soup to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. stirring occasionally. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve!

(I served mine with chopped tomatoes and sliced avocados)

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Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken & Christmas

How Christmas works for us is we spend Christmas Eve with Normy’s family and then Christmas Day with friends. Before Normy and I were married I used to make my parents and bro dinner on Christmas Eve and that was always a tradition. But things change, and you get married and you have to go to more family things. So this year I wanted to continue my tradition that I have done in the past and I wanted to do dinner with my parents. We were going to go out to dinner. But then I was looking on Pinterest (damn it) and I found this recipe for extra crispy fried chicken and so I called my mom and was like hey mom how about I cook instead! We had decided to go out to eat to make less work for me. But come ON! I love being overwhelmed with tons to do! Especially cooking! And who wants to eat out? Not me! I like cooking my own food because I like HOMEMADE!  So I suggested instead of me cooking it all, we all chip in! My mom offered to make her potatoes salad and then my bro could make baked beans (ewwww) and then I could make the chicken and dessert. A southern style dinner! Not the healthiest, but (in my opinion) you’re supposed to be bad around the holidays! Oh and add in fried okra! Gotta have that! YUM! If you don’t already feel fat and bloated from the fried chicken add in some FRIED okra! MMMMMMMM

So whenever I make fried chicken I soak mine in buttermilk over night and I always add in Cajun seasoning. It just makes the fried chicken THAT much better! Then when you are ready to cook it drain the buttermilk

Here’s the recipe I used for the chicken
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So I slacked on the process of how the chicken was made because Normy cooked it and I was having fun talking with my family and opening presents!
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My mom and dad outdid themselves on gifts! appreciate it very much! Was nice, and a total surprise!

3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup hot red pepper sauce (I like Louisiana Hot Sauce)
4 cups flour
2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 quart buttermilk (optional)
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder (to taste)
1 (1 to 2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into pieces (I used drumsticks and thighs)
Peanut Oil, for frying

1. Place cut-up chicken in a large bowl, and cover with buttermilk. Cover and chill for two hours, or overnight. This is an optional (but recommended) step.

2. In a large bowl, add eggs, water, and red pepper sauce. Whisk until combined.

3. In a large gallon freezer bag, mix flour, pepper, paprika, and cayenne.

4. Remove chicken from buttermilk (if marinated) and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

5. Place all chicken pieces in freezer bag with flour mixture.
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Shake until all pieces are evenly coated.

6. Remove chicken pieces one at a time, shaking excess flour. Dip each piece in the egg mixture,
and return to bag of flour. After all pieces have been dipped in the egg mixture and put back in the bag, give it a second shake to coat chicken pieces again.
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7. Heat oil in deep fryer or deep pan to 350 degrees. Working in batches, drop each piece of chicken into the hot oil.
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Fry for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown, turning occasionally if oil does not completely cover chicken.
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Keep in mind that dark meat chicken takes longer to cook than white meat. Watch your wing segments, as well; these will finish cooking first.

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We drained the chicken on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess grease.
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MMMM now for the fried okra! We did the frozen kind. If it was summer I would have gone to the farmers market and got fresh okra. But it’s winter and well we had to do frozen!
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Mom’s Potato salad, it’s the best!
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Dinner is served!
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Check out what my mom and dad got Normy!
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A Smoker! I am SOOOOOO looking forward to smoked meat and recipes and pictures of smoked MEAT! YUM!

My Normy, My Dad, My Bro and My mom! I loves them all!
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My turn!
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my mom has these dishes that I love, and I wanted hers! So she got me some of my own!
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a little something we got my mom and dad
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and this was the best part! look at what my bro Made me!
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I LOVE Ladybugs and I LOVE that he made this for me!

My family!
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Couldn’t leave Normy out of the picture!
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This one is great! Normy always wants Tang! I don’t know why? But he loves it and always says to me he wants Tang, guess my mom got the memo:
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Cajun Chicken Salad

so here is my 2nd recipe that I did for the left over Cajun chicken thighs.
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Recipe

1 pound chicken thighs
Salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp mustard
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
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cut the chicken thighs into small chunks. (I had Normy help with that part) set aside
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In another large bowl, mix the mayo
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mustard,
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vinegar,
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paprika,
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Cajun seasoning
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and horseradish
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together. Mix in celery,
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green pepper,
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green onion.
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Add salt and hot sauce to taste.
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Then add chicken. Chill before serving.
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Serve over butter lettuce or between two pieces of bread for a sandwich. ( I made a sandwich with mine and added lettuce and tomato)

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Buttermilk roast chicken

Recipe

2 cups buttermilk
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, plus extra for sprinkling (smoked would be delicious, I used regular, cause I was out of smoked)
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken parts (we used legs and thighs)
Drizzle of olive oil
Flaked or coarse sea salt, to finish
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Whisk buttermilk
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with garlic,
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table salt,
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sugar,
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paprika
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and lots of freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.
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Place chicken parts in a gallon-sized freezer bag (or lidded container) and pour buttermilk brine over them,
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then swish it around so that all parts are covered. Refrigerate for at least 2 but preferably 24 and up to 48 hours.

When ready to roast, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil (not absolutely necessary) Remove chicken from buttermilk brine and arrange in dish.
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Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle with additional paprika and sea salt to taste. Roast for 30 minutes (for legs; approximately 35 to 40 for breasts),
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until brown
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and a bit scorched in spots. Serve immediately.
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Pulled Pork Sandwich

Hands down THE BEST pulled pork recipe I have made so far! Make it! you WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

Recipe

1 boneless pork shoulder (about 4 to 41/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 to 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Scant 1 tablespoon cayenne
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
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Coleslaw:
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 head savoy cabbage finely sliced
1/2 head purple cabbage, finely sliced (I used a pre-made cole slaw mix from the store instead)
2 green onions, chopped
2 carrots, sliced on mandoline
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
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6 brioche hamburger buns

Place the pork, fat side up, in a roasting pan fitted with a rack insert. Place the salt,
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pepper,
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brown sugar,
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paprika,
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thyme leaves, garlic,
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vinegar,
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and cayenne
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in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add extra-virgin olive oil
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until you have a nice paste.
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Rub all over the pork,
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being sure to get into the nooks so the salt can penetrate the meat and pull out the moisture – this will help form a crust on the outside when cooked. Cover the pork with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

Allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Roast the pork for 3 1/2 hours, uncovered, until the outside is crispy-brown (it should look like mahogany). Let the meat rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.

While the pork is cooking, prepare the slaw. Combine the mustard,
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mayonnaise,
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sour cream,
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lemon juice, vinegar
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and sugar.
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Mix well
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and add finely sliced savoy cabbage, purple cabbage, (i bought a bag of the pre-cut coleslaw cabbage mix at the store as it was only 2 of us eating this meal)
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green onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper,
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to taste,
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cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

To serve, cut the brioche buns in half and pile up some sliced pork. Top with a large spoonful of coleslaw and place the top half of the bun on top.
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Southwest Goulash

Recipe

1 pound elbow pasta
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeño, optional
1 tablespoon minced garlic
taco seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano
a small can green chilies
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 cup corn
1 1/2 cups cheese
salt and pepper

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Boil water in pot and add salt, cook pasta according to instructions on box
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Meanwhile, add olive oil to pan and sauté onions
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and pepper. Cook 4 min.
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Add Garlic,
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taco seasoning, (I made homemade taco seasoning, see recipe below, after this recipe)
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oregano,
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green chilies
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and meat.
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Once the meat is brown and ground up
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add broth, tomato sauce and tomatoes.
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Heat through.
add corn
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Stir in cheese,
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season with salt and pepper.

add pasta
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Add any toppings, sour cream, cheese, green onions…
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Taco Seasoning

Recipe

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
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In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.
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