Chicken with Chorizo Ragout

This is what happens when I’m feeling uninspired looking at the Cooking Light Diet results for my search on dinner recipes utilizing chorizo. I decide to just jump in and go crazy and throw a bunch of things together. Let’s marry Latin ingredients with Italian ingredients and create a weird, hybrid dish. I was originally thinking of adding a fried egg per serving (no idea why really), but nixed that idea as there is really more than enough protein with this dish since I am using both spicy ground chorizo and chicken breasts.

I have hypertension and am a bit overweight, so the idea was to make a healthy dish that wasn’t loaded on sodium. I don’t think I really ended up doing that, but it’s not wholly unhealthy, either. I will say that I did not realize how bad chorizo can be and why most recipes tell you only to use anywhere from an ounce to four ounces and mix in other meats.

As I could only find the hot chorizo (don’t know if this is Mexican or Spanish, sorry), this ends up having a nice kick to it, but it is not overwhelming at all. My grandfather first complained it was spicy, but by the end of the meal, he kept spooning up the sauce. I call that a success if I do say so myself. It is a better response than his reply to “it’s edible” when I ask him about food. Of course, he is pretty solid in what he eats. I grew up on a steady diet of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. He doesn’t like this “flandangled” stuff.

You could serve the ragout over noodles, but, again, I am trying to lose some weight so I did not add on more carbs. Instead, to balance of the spicy sauce, I served this dish up with lightly seasoned steamed broccoli. I highly recommend it. And, because I wanted to add more color, I used a cup of multi-colored bell peppers. I had orange, yellow, green, and red. This way the ragout didn’t look too monotone…not that it should really matter, right?

I started on the sauce first because I wanted to have it simmer while I prepared my broccoli and steamed it. The chicken was cooked last. I put down half a cup of sauce, added the chicken breast (which I had sliced after letting it rest a minute), added the additional half cup sauce, and topped with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Chicken with Spicy Chorizo Ragout

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A spicy fusion dish of Latin and Italian flavors that can go great with pasta, rice, and more.

A mix of green, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers was used when making the ragout, but you can use whatever you would like.

Spicy Chorizo Ragout

  • 3.2 ounces matchstick radishes
  • 3.2 ounces matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 ounces ground, hot chorizo
  • 1/4 cup Swanson unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup red cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 8oz can of natural, no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

To make the ragout

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium high heat, swirling to coat pan.
  2. Add carrots, radishes, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add onion and green pepper to pan. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add garlic to pan. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer vegetables to plate. Add chorizo and use spatula to break apart while cooking. Cook for five minutes.
  6. Add tomato paste and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  7. Add red wine to help deglaze pan. Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. Add the stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer while you prepare your chicken breasts.

Pan-fried Chicken

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Chicken breasts are cut in half by slicing through them horizontally, not vertically. Do be careful not to cut yourself. You can also buy chicken breasts that are already sliced thin. If you do this, then use 6.

For the chicken

  1. Sprinkle your chicken breasts on both sides with seasoning.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat, swirling to coat pan.
  3. Add chicken. Cook until golden brown on the outside and cooked thoroughly.
  4. Let stand five minutes, and then slice.
  5. Turn off heat on ragout and spoon 1/2 cup onto plate. Top with 1 sliced chicken breast. Spoon an additional 1/2 cup of sauce over chicken. Top with a tablespoon of shredded Parmesan.
  6. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli.

Nutritional information might not be 100% accurate, but should be in the ballpark per serving.

Deconstructed Stuffed French Toast

Deconstructed Stuffed French Toast

Deconstructed Stuffed French Toast

I wanted to do something different for breakfast and had a lot of fresh fruit and half a container of cream cheese left. I decided to do a play on a cobbler utilizing the last of stone ground wheat bread I had purchased from a local orchard.

At first I was thinking of actually do a cheesecake layer, but decided to cook the cream cheese down with the fruit. The amount of sugar may seem like a lot, but my berries were on the sour side. With sour fruit and cream cheese, the sugar was not as overpowering as you might think it would be. The only thing I would do differently would be to add some tapioca or possibly cornstarch to thicken the sauce a little more.

  • 4 slices wheat bread, cubed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp half and half
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 medium Gala apples, diced
  • 3 oz strawberries, sliced
  • 3 oz blackberries
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a medium cast iron skillet, melt butter and add diced apples with brown sugar. Cook until apples start to soften.
  3. Add cream cheese, stirring frequently until melted down.
  4. Add berries and white sugar. Gently stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
  5. In a pie pan, beat two large eggs.
  6. Add half and half and cinnamon. Mix well. Add bread cubes and gently mix until all bread is covered.
  7. Carefully spread over fruit mixture and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until set.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

I did dump all the leftover egg mixture that did not sink into the bread to the skillet as well. This was good fresh from the oven as well as cooled at room temperature. If you feel decadent, you can top with some powered sugar and whipped cream. Me grandfather really enjoyed this experiment, which really makes me happy.

Easy Skillet Nachos

You know you’re almost fully recovered from a stomach bug when you can start experimenting with food again! Monday was horrible, but little by little this week things have been getting better.

I did have some fresh ground beef, but since that had been claimed for Sunday hamburgers, I decided to do a meatless meal since I didn’t have any meat that’s not frozen. That’s when I remembered my aunt had given me canned chicken. I am generally not a fan of canned meat, but decided to go all in.

You do know you’re still recovering from a stomach bug when the mere sight and smell of canned chicken turns your stomach instantly. But, it’s hard to tell you’re using canned chicken when you later this with Bush’s Cocina Latina Refried Black Beans and Knorr’s Spanish rice.


  • 10 oz canned chicken, drained & shredded
  • 1 can Bush’s Cocina Latino Refried Black Beans
  • 1 pkg Knorr Spanish Rice
  • 1/4 cup ceaser salad dressing
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp miced garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese


    1. Cook rice according to package.
    2. In a 10″ oven-proof skillet, drizzle some vegetable oil. Add onion and cook for two minutes.
    3. Add chicken, salad dressing, garlic, and taco seasoning. Cook until heated through. Transfer chicken mixture to a dish and set aside. Wipe out pan and add refried beans.
    4. When beans are cooked through, make sure they are spread evenly in pan. Sprinkle beans with pepper jack cheese. Next, spread rice evenly over beans and pepper jack layer. Top rice with shredded chicken mixture, spreading as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with Mexican cheese.
    5. Broil uncovered until cheese is melted.
    6. Serve with your choice of toppings. I used shredded lettuce, chopped green onion, sour cream, and my favorite mild Ortega Sauce.

    I dished out the skillet nachos on my plate, added toppings, and then devoured with tortilla chips. It turned out quite well. My grandfather actually complimented this dish saying it tasted “surprisingly good.” It’s rare for him to actually praise my food to my face even if he likes my cooking.

    In the future, I’ll use fresh shredded chicken breast (I’m thinking about a pound, as the 10 ounces of chicken wasn’t quite enough) and experiment with the amounts of taco seasoning and salad dressing.

    Turkey Cheeseball Recipe

    For this past Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to make a cheeseball. I don’t know why exactly, but I did. Thus I took to the internet for recipes that incorporated the cheeses available in my fridge. I found several recipes that let me know mixing feta with cream cheese and pepper jack would be just fine, but I decided to forgo a formal recipes in favor of just randomly throwing things together.

    I did try to make the cheeseball look like a turkey using dried fruit and cooked bacon. It looked more like a duck, but I tried. I get an E for effort. A tip… use a thicker cut of. bacon. Mine was super thin and it didn’t want to hold it’s shape well.


    • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • 5 oz feta, crumbled
    • 1 wedge Laughing Cow pepper jack
    • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
    • 1 cup pepper jack, shredded
    • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 1 tsp garlic, minced
    • 1/4 tsp dried lemon thyme
    • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp lemon juice


    1. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, Laughing Cow, yogurt, and lemon juice until well combined.
    2. Stir in herbs, feta, garlic, and dried cranberries. Make sure to get these things as evenly distributed as possible to avoid pockets of garlic and cranberries on the bottom only.
    3. Add the green onions and shredded cheeses, stirring gently until combined.
    4. Spoon into plastic wrap and roll into a ball. Chill for an hour, unwrap, and garnish as desired.

    My family is not feta lovers and some even dislike pepper jack, but they had half this cheeseball eaten before we sat down to dinner. That’s saying something. This was served with Wheat Thins and Ritz crackers and went well with both. You could also serve thus with pretzels and bagel chips. This stuff was awesome on toasted cranberry bagels, by the way.

    My family also took apart the bacon tail and ate it with the cheeseball. Next time I think I’ll add bacon to the cheeseball mix.

    Yummy Fiesta Bean Dip

    I wanted to make bean dip for my family’s taco night. I remembered making a yummy dip with cream cheese, salsa, and refried beans, but couldn’t find the recipe for it. Typical me. Thus this dip was born because I decided to throw leftovers in the dip.

    • 1 block cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 can of Hormel Chili (I used no beans)
    • 1 cup Fritos cheddar cheese
    • 1 can refried beans
    • 1/4 – 1/2 pint of salsa
    • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
    • 1/2 cup sour cream

    Directions: In a large mixing bowl, mix together your cream cheese, sour cream, and Fritos cheese. Then add in your salsa and refried beans.

    Once that is nicely mixed together, stir in half your pepper jack cheese and pour into a 8×8 baking dish. Top with remaining pepper jack and bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes.

    Serve warm with tortilla chips or throw inside your tacos with ground beef. My grandfather loves eating this on bread with butter and topped with extra homemade salsa.