Friday, November 23, 2012

Bistro Stew

This came from our favorite soup book,The Big Book of Soups and Stews by Maryana Vollstedt. We have been using this book for years, but decided to try something we had never tried before.  It is a very hearty dish with lots of beef cubes and chunky vegetables.  We gave it a 10.

Printable Version: Bistro Stew
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups red wine
4 cups beef stock or broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
4 cloves garlic, halved
4 medium new potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
3 cups baby carrots
6 baby pattypan squash, quartered I used zucchini
8 ounces mushrooms, halved
Mix flour, salt, and pepper on a piece of waxed paper. Roll meat in mixture to coat. Use all the flour.
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add meat and brown in batches, about 5 minutes for each batch. Remove meat to a plate as it browns. Add onion and saute" until tender, about 5 minutes. Add more oil if needed to keep onions from sticking. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add stock, tomato paste, marjoram, and garlic. Return meat to Dutch oven. At this point, I put it all in the crock pot and cooked it on high for about 2 hours. Then I turned down the heat to low and added the potatoes and carrots and cooked it an additional 2 1/2 hours. Then I added the squash and mushrooms and cooked about 45-min. --1hour. Back to the recipe: Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Add squash and mushrooms and simmer, covered, until all vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Taste for seasonings.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Menu white board

In making a menue for my refrigerator, I use an 8" X 12" white board. I use a permanent marker to make the lines for 7 days. I write Lunch and Dinner on the two sides. You could put the days of the week on the side, but I never make them the day it says. I just have my meals for the week and make them whenever I desire.

Then I use a white board marker that can be erased for my meals for the week. I put the page number and the recipe book at the bottom of the entry.  This is really a nice way to keep track with what's for dinner.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pan Fried Trout with Tomato/Basil Sauce 2

I have made this dish before, but I used the lazy way this time.  I had some roma tomatoes that were going to go bad, so I put a little olive oil with 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, and about 6 of the tomatoes.  I let them cook until they were nice and soft. Then I added about 1/4 cup of fresh basil. I poured this over the trout or in my case tilapia.

Remove the sauce from the heat. Clean-out the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes on each side.  Top with tomato mixture.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Printable Version:  Jambalaya

This recipe comes from Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meal--Comfort Foods recipe book. I think next time I may use a little less pepper sauce. We like spicy, but this was a little too spicy.

1 cup enriched white rice, following directions on package
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast meat, diced
1/2 pound andouille, chorizo, or linguica sausage, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery from heart of stalk, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
A few drops cayenne pepper sauce
2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (14oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (14oz) chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 round teaspoon chili powder
1 rounded teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 drops each cayenne pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
4 springs fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stemp and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
4 scallions, sliced thin.
Cook rice and keep covered.  Place a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and melt butter into it. Add chicken and brown 2 minutes. Add sausage and cook 2 minutes more. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper sauce. Saute' veggies until tender, another 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and chicken and cook a minute more, stirring to incorporate flour. Add tomatoes and broth to pan and combine ingredients well. Season with cumin, chili powder, Old Bay seasoning, Tabasco, and Worcestershire.  Scatter shrimp into pot and cook until shrimp are pink and firm and sauce thickens a bit, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  To serve, ladle jambalaya into bowls. Scoop rice with an ice cream scoop and place 1 scoop in the center of each dish of jambalaya. Top rice and jambalya with chopped thyme and scallions. I put the rice in the dish first, and then topped it with the jambalaya.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Poblano Sauce

This is great on chicken, pork tenderloin, fish, or anything else. I haven't tried it with cardboard, but I think it would be good.

Poblano Pepper Sauce:

  • 3 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Place peppers, vinegar, cilantro and honey in a blender and season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified.

Oven Fried Chicken

This is a great way to make fried chicken. The dijon mustard is a great addition to the flavor of the chicken. We loved it.  The brussel sprouts are just coated with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper and cooked at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly minced thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 " thickness
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack over pan and spray rack with nonstick cooking spray. In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste. In a separate shallow dish, combine mustard, water, salt and pepper, to taste, and remaining olive oil. Coat each chicken breast with mustard mixture; dredge each in bread crumb mixture. Place on prepared rack in pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown. Serve immediately. I cut this recipe in 1/2 because I only made 2 chicken breasts.