Spicy Beef Hot Pot

spicy beef hot pot

Hot Pot is one of those things that I think you either love or you hate. Most restaurants will have individual burners or share burners filled with savory broth. You cook a selection of meats and vegetables in your own simmering broth. Our favorite place also has a sauce bar. All you can eat chili oil? Sign me up! I did not go traditional today. I took all my favorite things from Hot Pot and made it a much easier clean up.

We had a new market open near us and I am almost embarrassed to tell you how many times we have been in the past 2 weeks. I say almost embarrassed because then I remember all the different kinds of dumplings and pork buns we have tried. Patrick is borderline obsessed with a little Ramen restaurant in the food court. Which is how this recipe came about this weekend. It has been threatening to snow flurry all weekend and every part of me wanted a rich beef soup. Not just any beef soup though. A hot pot style soup. Something with a rich broth and tons of goodies.

spicy beef hot pot

Most of these ingredients you can find right in your local grocery store. We purchased ours at a new local Asian market. If you have one close by definitely check it out! The herbs and vegetables are usually a fraction of the cost compared to local grocery stores. The selection is out of this world, and you can usually find really good deals on butchered meats.

spicy beef hot pot

I used pre-cubed rib eye. You can use any kind of beef you would like. Sliced brisket, stew meat, skirt steak sliced against the grain… anything works as long as you brown/sear the meat first.

Now lets talk about your heat tolerance. Mine is high- as in I tap out when fire comes out of my ears.  Patrick’s kids usually can handle fairly spicy, but I think this recipe would terrify them. So I am going to give you some options to make this family friendly.

If you are going to an Asian market you can pick up a hot pot starter. These are also available online or you could definitely make it yourself.

spicy beef hot pot

When searching for your hot pot base definitely take into account your heat preference. If you are more of a mild to medium spicy I would completely stay away from anything with Szechuan Peppercorns. I don’t think they are necessarily spicy, but sometimes you can get a bite that will unexpectedly numb your entire mouth. In theory I believe they are used to allow you to taste all the flavors in the hot pot, but if this is your first time making a recipe like this I would just skip them.

To build the base you will start by browning/ searing your meat. This is going to help tenderize the meat as well as build a lot of great flavor. Removed the meat then add in your broth and spices. Bring the broth to a rolling boil then drop down to barely a simmer before adding the meat back into the pot. Do not skip this step because it is going to give you super juicy bites of tender meat instead of chewy bites.

spicy beef hot pot

You can literally add anything to this soup. Some of my favorites are- mushrooms, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, onion, egg, soup dumplings, noodles. Today we are using pork soup dumplings, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, Chinese noodles, and lots of fresh basil.

You can use any kind of dumplings you prefer, but I like the tiny bite size square dumplings. You can also have a dumpling sauce on the side for dipping. Yum!

Spicy Beef Hot Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Spicy broth simmered with rib-eye, garlic, and mushrooms. Poured over basil, dumplings and Chinese noodles.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups of beef stock
  • ½ pound of cubed or sliced steak
  • 1 tsp of canola oil
  • 2 tbsp of chopped garlic
  • 1 cup of fresh herbs
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 4 oz or 2 servings of dried pasta such as Chinese noodles, ramen, or spaghetti
  • 2 cups of dumplings
  • ¼ cup of hot pot base (Little Sheep is a good brand and I believe they sell it at Walmart)
  • Homemade Starter
  • If you want to make your own starter-
  • ¼ cup of canola oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of soy bean paste
  • 1 tsp of cayenne or white pepper (depending on your heat level)
  • 1 tsp of garlic
  • 1 tsp of crushed red chili (optional)
  • 1 tsp of whole cloves (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot heat 1 tsp of canola oil over medium heat
  2. Add in your meat careful not to crowd
  3. Brown/ sear your meat and set to the side
  4. Add in the chopped garlic and mushrooms
  5. Lower the heat and pour hot pot base over the top
  6. Add in the broth
  7. Bring to a boil
  8. Lower to barely a simmer (too hot will toughen your meat)
  9. Add the meat back in and simmer for 30-40 minutes
  10. minutes before serving add your noodles
  11. minutes before serving add in your dumplings
  12. Garnish with fresh herbs ( I love basil, but cilantro works too)
  13. Serve with a dumpling sauce and sriracha
  14. Or even a crusty hunk of bread

spicy beef hot pot

My Italian roots poked out a little here and I served mine with a load of crusty sourdough bread. Now before you judge my carbs on carbs on carbs just try a piece of warm bread dipped in this broth. It is so delicious!

I hope you enjoy my twist on a classic dish!

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Savory Tomato and Olive Pasta (With Ground Beef)

Savory Tomato and Olive Pasta

Savory Tomato and Olive Pasta

In the midst of all my holiday recipes I remembered this super easy savory tomato and olive pasta. A two pot pasta dish made in 30 minutes with tons of flavor! It starts with some of my all time favorite things: garlic, onion, and olive oil. Anytime I start a dish with those 3 ingredients my mouth just begins to water. Then you add in the ground beef with lots of spices. Roasted tomatoes and briney olives. Then stir in angel hair and a little pasta water. Let it simmer and top with TONS of Parmesan.

Savory Tomato and Olive Pasta

This recipe has so many flavors going on. Each component just as important as the next. This are my favorite types of pasta dishes. So rich you don’t need a lot of sauce. Plus it is such a gorgeous meal. A huge step up from the typical spaghetti and meat sauce.

Savory Tomato and Olive Pasta

Seriously- look at that sauce. So light and evenly tossed throughout the pasta. Yummm.

Savory Tomato and Olive Pasta (With Ground Beef)
Recipe type: Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Savory Tomato and Olive Pasta With Ground Beef
Ingredients
  • 1 box of angel hair pasta
  • 6 cups of salted water for boiling
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 tbsp of chopped garlic
  • 1 small sweet onion chopped
  • ½ cup of olives
  • 1 can of roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • ½ cup of reserved pasta water
  • fresh or dried parsley
Instructions
  1. Boil the water and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
  3. In a large saute pan cook the garlic, onion, and olive oil over medium high.
  4. Add the ground beef.
  5. Cook until completely browned.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add in the tomatoes and olives.
  8. Pour in the pasta water and bring to a simmer.
  9. Add in the pasta.
  10. Toss lightly and turn heat to medium low.
  11. Add in the rest of the seasoning.
  12. Sauce should not be watery, but just enough to coat all the pasta.
  13. Serve with lots of parm and parsley

Savory Tomato and Olive Pasta

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Sausage, Mushroom, and Cheese Stuffed Shells

stuffed shells

These stuffed shells bring me back to my childhood. I don’t know how I have gone this long without making them myself. Growing up in an Italian household we typically celebrated holidays with some sort of pasta. With Thanksgiving only a few days away I wanted to offer a alternative to typical turkey and sides.

stuffed shells

I personally will be celebrating Thanksgiving on a different day. Due to the nature of my day job I will be working on the actual holiday. This dish is for those of you that might be too busy to do a full on Thanksgiving meal, but still want something special. Each shell is stuffed with so much garlic, so much onion, so much mushroom, and so much sausage. Every bite will burst with flavor and ooey gooey cheese.

stuffed shells

I finished the top with a little panko and fresh parm. Patrick does not liked baked pasta which is totally crazy to me  but if you are one of these people feel free to eat these shells right out of the pan without baking. Still good. The cheese just isn’t melty enough for me.

Sausage, Mushroom, and Cheese Stuffed Shells
Recipe type: Stuffed Shells, Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Baked pasta shells stuffed with sausage, mushrooms, and cheese.
Ingredients
  • Large dried pasta shells
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of chopped garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of baby bella mushrooms chopped
  • 1 pound of spicy ground sausage
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • 2 cups of marinara sauce
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of panko crumbs
  • fresh shaved parm cheese
  • chopped parsley (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Boil 6 cups of water and cook shells to al dente (just cooked, still holds shape)
  3. In a saute pan cook the sausage until you no longer see pink.
  4. Add onions and garlic.
  5. Add in mushrooms.
  6. Once the onions start to look translucent add the seasonings and 2 tbsp of marinara sauce.
  7. Stir in a handful of the cheese.
  8. Let the mixture cool slightly.
  9. Fill the shells and line a baking dish.
  10. Cover with remaining marinara.
  11. Follow with the mozzarella.
  12. Top with panko and parm.
  13. Cook for 15-20 minutes until cheese bubbles.
  14. Top with more parm and parsley!

stuffed shells

This Holiday season if you are low on time, but still want an impressive meal try out these stuffed shells! Don’t forget a side of crusty garlic bread.

stuffed shells

Look at that cheese crust!!!!

 

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Chicken Thighs With Salty Olives and Prosciutto

chicken thighs

These chicken thighs are the easiest Monday night recipe! This dish comes together in 30 minutes or less. No more Monday moody blues! Now you have this dish to look forward to! No one will ever know how fast you threw this meal together once they taste this sauce. The prosciutto and olives add a saltiness to this lemon cream sauce that mimics sauces that simmer for hours.

On Mondays I work a very late shift. Patrick always waits for me to eat so I have to get creative with our dinners. I need something that I can cook very quickly, but still has that great comfort food vibe. Usually I will save our pasta night for Monday since you can boil noodles in under 15 minutes.

chicken-thighs-with-olives-and-prosciutto

You start out with boneless skinless chicken thighs tossed lightly in corn starch. In a saute pan I heat up a little olive oil and brown the chicken thighs. I cook them to about 95 % done. Then remove from the pan. Then all the remaining ingredients are tossed in the pan and cooked down before adding the chicken back in. I used angel hair because I think this cut of pasta soaks up the sauce a little better then some other cuts. This dish really is all about the sauce!

Chicken Thighs With Salty Olives and Prosciutto
Cuisine: Dinner, Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Crispy chicken thighs over angel hair pasta, smothered in a salty lemon cream sauce with olives and prosciutto.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup of corn starch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup of marinated olives (or your favorite olive)
  • 5 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup of cream
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 servings of cooked pasta
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta and strain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Toss chicken in the corn starch.
  4. Tap off excess.
  5. Brown the chicken in the sauce pan.
  6. Cover to cook through. ( Takes about 10 minutes depending on how thick they are)
  7. Remove the chicken.
  8. Brown the prosciutto and garlic.
  9. Add ½ cup of the chicken stock to the pan and turn up the heat.
  10. Whisk or scrap the bottom to get everything up from the bottom of the pan.
  11. Add the olives and lemon juice.
  12. (If the chicken stock reduces down too quickly just add the remaining ½ cup)*
  13. Lower the heat to medium low and add in the cream and stir.
  14. Season with the paprika, salt and pepper.
  15. Add the chicken back into the pan and cook until no longer pink.
  16. Serve over pasta.
  17. * I used 1 full cup of stock. I started with half a cup then after the stock cooked down and I scrapped all those beautiful brown bits up I felt like it was reducing too quick and added more. It is honestly your preference to how much sauce you want over the pasta.

chicken thighs

Thanks for stopping by! I’m going to go recreate this again now. These pictures brought back too many memories :p

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Quick and Easy Sausage Carbonara

quick and easy sausage carbonara
Sometimes you just need something fast and comforting. Those days when I work an 11 hour shift and cannot stop thinking about Sonic chili cheese dogs are the days I make this beauty. A classic carbonara typically has pancetta or bacon, but I really wanted a more comforting Italian vibe. I used a spicy Italian sausage, but you can honestly use anything that has a higher fat content. Even ground beef if that is what you have on hand. 

Can we talk about this gorgeous bright green parsley? This is my favorite time to shop for veggies and herbs. Everything is so green and ripe. Parsley is not necessary, but I think it gives this dish a fresh pop in a world of gooey cheese.

quick and easy sausage carbonara

If you have never tried a cabonara before try and imagine your favorite noodles with a light creamy sauce bites of sausage (or pancetta) then tossed with tons of grated Parmesan topped with crushed red pepper flakes. If you wanted to go the low carb route you could even swap the noodles for spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

Quick and Easy Sausage Carbonara
Recipe type: Pasta, Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Light creamy carbonara pasta with sausage.
Ingredients
  • 2 servings of dried pasta
  • Water for boiling
  • 2 tbsp of salt for the pasta water
  • 3 eggs room temp
  • ½ pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta following directions, add the 2 tbsp of salt to the water before boiling
  2. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of cooking water
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 egg and 2 egg yolks
  4. In a large pot (preferably the one used for cooking the pasta) cook the ground sausage until golden brown
  5. Add in the dried herbs and garlic
  6. Pour the drained pasta into the pot
  7. Add in the eggs and reserved cooking water
  8. Mix with a large spoon quickly until the pasta is evenly coated
  9. The pasta and the reserved water should still be very warm
  10. Add cheese, parsley and crushed red pepper
  11. Toss to coat
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper

This is one of the best go to meals for a late night when you just hate the thought of standing over the stove. It comes together so quickly. If you skip the sausage the longest part would be waiting for the pasta to cook, but don’t skip the sausage – it is just too good!

quick and easy sausage carbonara

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Cajun Alfredo With Grilled Chicken and Shrimp (AND ZOODLES)

cajun alfredo

So I finally made it. I am only one day away from completing my first 14 day cycle on this carb and sugar cleanse. I bought a veggie spiralizer so I can replace my pasta with zucchini. I know that is not for everyone – including my boyfriend. So, for this recipe to help ease you into the low carb lifestyle I have included some fresh pasta as well. I can eat this without the pasta. The sauce over the zucchini is delicious.

You do not have to add chicken and shrimp, but I personally just like the variety. The zucchini noodles soak up the cheese sauce perfectly.

I bought a $15 grill from target I like to use for these kind of recipes. It is so easy and chars the shrimp exactly the way I like it.

zucchini

Cajun Alfredo With Grilled Chicken and Shrimp (AND ZOODLES)
Recipe type: pasta, low carb
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Cajun shrimp and chicken over fresh pasta mixed with zucchini noodles sauteed in alfredo sauce.
Ingredients
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 2 oz fresh pasta
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 4 oz shredded Parmesan
  • ¼ heavy cream
  • ¼ chicken stock
  • ½ pound of large peeled shrimp
  • ½ pound of boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ stick of salted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp red pepper
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
Instructions
  1. Set up the grill then prepare the chicken and shrimp.
  2. Liberally season the chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill until the shrimp are pink and blistered and the chicken is cooked through,
  4. Spiralize the zucchini.
  5. Melt the butter in a sautee pan and sautee the zucchini and garlic.
  6. Add the chicken stock and cook until "noodles" are tender over medium high.
  7. Add the heavy cream and cook at medium.
  8. When the sauce starts to thicken add in the cheese and spices.
  9. Reduce to a simmer and let the sauce finish thickening,
  10. Add in the fresh pasta.
  11. Toss in the shrimp and chicken.
  12. Top with parm.

If you are feeling adventurous skip the fresh pasta altogether! Enjoy!

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