(Family Features) Chilly nights are the perfect time to pull out your favorite soup or stew recipe. Settle down with a blanket while a big pot of chili simmers on the stove. Warm, hearty and flavorful, chili is a classic comfort food, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite flavor combinations. Whether you prefer it spicy or mild, with or without beans, you can develop your own signature style.
For chili connoisseurs, ground beef is usually the go-to meat, but try a new take on an old favorite by adding ground duck to your chili for something creative. Duck has the robust, red-meat texture of beef but with the lean nutritional benefits of other poultry. Farm-raised white Pekin duck has less saturated fat than beef and a mild flavor that's not considered gamey. Plus, it’s versatile and complements a variety of dishes.
Substitute duck in your favorite version of chili or try this Duck Chili. Like many chili recipes, this one tastes even better the next day, making it a great dish to make ahead of time and reheat when needed.
Find other duck recipes and more information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
- 2 tablespoons Maple Leaf Farms Rendered Duck Fat, divided
- 2 pounds Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Ground Duck
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, minced (remove seeds to reduce heat, if desired)
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and chopped
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 24 ounces dark beer
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 28 ounces canned tomatoes
- 24 ounces canned great northern beans, drained
- 8 ounces canned whole kernel corn, drained
- hot sauce, to taste
- sour cream (optional)
- shredded cheese (optional)
- chopped scallions (optional)
- fresh cilantro, rough chopped (optional)
- In large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon duck fat. Add ground duck; sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, and 1 tablespoon cumin.
- Cook meat until just slightly browned, stirring occasionally to break into small pieces. Remove duck from pot and set aside.
- Return pot to medium-high burner and add remaining duck fat. Add onion, garlic, jalapenos and red peppers to pot and saute 3 minutes, stirring so garlic doesn't burn. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and remaining cumin. Saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add beer and stock to pot. Stir, scraping up bits from bottom of pot. Add tomato paste and mix well. Add tomatoes and duck then bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour.
- Stir in beans, corn and hot sauce. Cook uncovered 30 minutes, or until chili is thick.
- Serve in bowls with optional toppings: sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro.
Note: Vegetable oil can be substituted for duck fat.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms
(Family Features) Becoming a master of the grill doesn’t have to be complicated. Test out these seven tips for quick marinades, flavorful sauces and marinade hacks to take your summer grilling to the next level.
- The 5-Minute Marinade
If you want flavorful meat but don’t have the time to wait for a marinade to do its magic, try this technique. In a re-sealable plastic bag, combine your protein and marinade, such as the one in this Sweet and Smokey Grilled Flank Steak. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Massage the meat for 5 minutes, turning the bag over often so the meat absorbs most of the marinade. Remove the meat and discard remaining marinade.
- Bring Your Favorite Brew to the Grill
Don’t just drink that beer; add it to your marinade. This recipe for Mexican Chipotle Shrimp Skewers with Lime Beer Basting Sauce combines a generous pour of your favorite Mexican-style beer with a zesty marinade mix, brown sugar and lime juice for a spicy, citrusy marinade and glaze.
- Pep Up Produce
Hearty slabs of meat may be the heroes of the grill, but fruit and veggies have a rightful place on those smoky grates. These Cabbage Steaks with Bacon Blue Cheeseblend sweet and slightly sour notes with savory crumbles of cheese for a dish that pleases every last one of your taste buds.
- Go for White Barbecue Sauce
Discover the south’s tangy little secret, white barbecue sauce. This White BBQ Sauce with Smoky Chicken artfully blends the creamy sauce – complete with the bite of creole mustard and horseradish – with smoked chicken. You can also use it as a dip for fresh veggies or drizzled over salad greens.
- Grill a Whole Fish
Grilling a whole fish may seem intimidating, but it can be done in a few simple steps. To prepare this Applewood Grilled Whole Fish, start by patting the fish dry. Score the sides and brush liberally with oil. Then add seasonings or a rub, and stuff the cavity with citrus slices before placing directly on the grill.
- Switch Up Your Sear
An imperfect sear can result in dry, tough meat. Instead, use this recipe for Sweet Soy Bourbon Chickento practice a tried-and-true technique from grilling experts: start with indirect heat for evenly cooked, juicy meat then finish over high heat for a crispy char on each side.
- Accent Chimichurri with Blue Cheese
Blue cheese adds intense flavor to the classic garlic-tang of chimichurri. Try it with this recipe for Beer Marinated Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Chimichurri.
Moscato Moscow Mule
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- 3 ounces Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1 lime wheel
- 1 mint sprig for garnish
- Pour ginger beer, Moscato and lime juice into ice-filled copper mug. Garnish with lime wheel and mint sprig.
Source: Gallo Family Vineyards
(Family Features) The rich smell and crisp, smoky flavor of fresh sizzling bacon is a temptation few diners can resist. Indeed, some 53 percent of Americans eat bacon at least once a week, according to a recent survey by Smithfield. This love for bacon is fueling a culinary craze for bacon-infused and -inspired foods - everything from the tame (sauces) to the outrageous (ice cream).
But perhaps this trend should come as no surprise. After all, a full 78 percent of Smithfield's survey respondents agreed that bacon makes everything better.
Whether you're pairing your morning eggs with strips of their most perfect protein sidekick, loading up a BLT with an extra layer of bacon-y crunch, or following the lead of the nation's top chefs and experimenting with new flavor combinations, you're likely to achieve a crowd pleaser.
Quirky products and recipes aside, for the average consumer, the simple versatility of bacon makes it a winning addition to most meals. Even a classic pork chop, one of the most popular cuts of fresh pork, takes on a new personality when paired with the distinctly savory flavor of bacon, as in this recipe for Bacon Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze.
Image and recipe provided by The Pork Board
Bacon Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze
- 4 6-7 ounce Smithfield Boneless Pork Loin Chops (1 1/4-inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 slices Thick-Cut Smithfield Bacon
- 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup lager beer
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, reduced-sodium
- Season pork with salt. Wrap bacon around edges of pork and secure with wooden toothpick.
- Mix together barbecue sauce and beer.
- Heat oil in oven-proof large skillet over medium-high heat. Stand chops with bacon-wrapped edges down in skillet, leaning against side of pan if needed. Using tongs, rotate chops along edges to lightly brown bacon (allow about 45 seconds to brown each section).
- Place chops flat side down in skillet and cook until underside is lightly browned, about one minute. Turn chops over. Spread equal amount of barbecue sauce mixture over each chop, letting excess run into skillet.
- Place skillet with chops in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer each chop to dinner plate and let stand.
- Pour fat from skillet, leaving browned bits. Heat skillet over high heat until hot. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, and boil until reduced by half, about two minutes. Top each chop with spoonful of sauce and serve hot.
- 1 11 x 9 x 2 3/8-inch aluminum foil baking pan
- 2 to 3 beers
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced
- Put pan on hot grill.
- Pour in beer then add butter and onions. Grill brats to juicy, golden-brown perfection.
- Serve immediately and place any remaining brats into steaming hot tub.
Yield 5 servings
(Family Features) - We all seem to thrive on competition these days. Any channel surfer can find reality shows in which folks are trying to be the next survivor on a deserted island, rock star, celebrity chef or TV design guru. But nothing can beat the real life drama in your own backyard when brats vie for "top brat" awards.
First of all, choose the brat that consumers found to be the tastiest of all grillable meats in a recent taste test. Served hot and plump off the grill, alone on a bun or tortilla, this brat's robust flavor is more than delicious all by itself. But when you're in the mood to play with your food, top your brat with a favorite condiment, relish, salsa or slaw.
Top that juicy grilled brat with pickles and onions, mustard or ketchup. Go German with sauerkraut, Southern with a tangy barbecue topping, or even Hawaiian with pineapple and papaya. As long as you grill your brat so that it's plump and juicy, the topping you choose is only going to add style points. So, top that!
Check out johnsonville.com for great recipes and more!
Are You a Grillin' Guru?
You can be, by following Johnsonville's Tips for Grilling Success.
- Use a clean grill. Repeated grilling causes excessive residue buildup on the grill rack and hull. An occasional cleaning will help to reduce flare-ups. Besides, your grill is a special gathering place for friends and family. Got to keep up appearances.
- It's OK to pre-cook. Know that it's OK to pre-cook brats. One may simmer the links in a pan of broth, or a beer and onion blend, for 8 to10 minutes prior to placing them on the grill (it's okay to dump the beer when you're done ... really, it is).
- Cook slow, on low heat, keeping grill covered. If you're using a charcoal grill, spread out the gray/white, hot coals in a single layer. Your charcoal grill is perfect for brats if you can hold your palm near the grill for 5 to 6 seconds before it gets uncomfortable. On a gas grill, start the flame at a medium setting, and when the sausage juices start to flow, reduce heat to low. A lid on the grill helps to minimize the flame, too.
- Avoid high flames! First, move the brats to safety. Raging blazes cause injury to sausage and your neighbors probably won't enjoy the sirens. Keep a spray-bottle filled with water handy to douse small flames while grilling. A garden hose would be overkill.
- Turn the brats every five minutes or so. Use tongs, never a fork ... EVER! A fork can puncture a link and release that great taste and savory flavor. Tongs keep the links intact, and make 'em easier to turn.
Know when your brats are done cooking, which is:
- about 25 to 30 minutes using the above guidelines.
- when they're golden-brown and look appetizing, not charred to a crisp. "Burning" is not "grilling"!
- when a meat thermometer probe inserted into the link reads 160°F. (Of course, a Master Griller would never be seen doing this.)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
- 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup stone ground mustard
- In skillet, melt butter.
- Add garlic and sauté over low heat until tender. Add pepper and beer; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and gradually add cheese; stirring until melted. Continue to cook and stir until mixture is reduced by 1/3.
- Remove from heat. Add mustard; stir until blended. Pour into storage container. Refrigerate until ready to serve as a condiment to grilled brats.
Yield: 2 cups.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Grilling suggestion: Blend 1 cup Gorgonzola mustard with 1/3 cup dark beer. Use as brushing or basting sauce for brat kabobs, whole brats or vegetables when grilling.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 cup prepared coleslaw dressing
- 1 package (16 ounces) cabbage slaw
- In skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent and slightly brown. Remove from heat, cool slightly.
- In small bowl, combine onion mixture with barbecue sauce and coleslaw dressing. Pour over cabbage slaw and toss lightly to coat.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve as topping with grilled brats.
Yield about 5 cups
- 1/2 cup cider or rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup diced papaya
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
- 1/2 cup diced mango
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1/2 cup diced sweet red roasted peppers, drained
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5 spices
- In small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat, add garlic and pepper flakes; continue to simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.
- In bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour vinegar mixture over fruit; toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve as condiment to grilled brats.
Yield 3 cups