Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sussex Stewed Steak (English-style Roast)

If I want my children to eat well, feed them roast!  If you want me to eat well, keep the recipes changing and sauces interesting!  I came across this recipe in my Elizabeth David cookbook, and knew I had to try it.  Roast.  Prep and walk away.  Serve to a happily waiting family!

Inexpensive cute of meat


Such a deep, rich gravy.

So tender

- 2 1/2 lb of an in expensive cut such as chuck steak, top round, or thick flank
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tbsp flour
- an onion (or two!)
- 5-6 tbsp each of port and stout (I used Guinness and Sherry)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Season the meat.  Rub flour on both sides.  Put it flat in a shallow baking dish in which it just fits.  Slice a large onion, put over the meat.  Pour in the liquid.  Cover with a double sheet of parchment paper and the lid of the dish.  Put it in a very low oven, at 275 degrees and leave it for about 3 hours - a little less or a little longer won't matter.

Elizabeth David claimed that the toughest meat will come out tender and the gravy will be rich, brown, and excellently flavored.  She was absolutely right!!

I have said before that Elizabeth David takes French cooking and makes it approachable.  No fuss, just cook!  And, this one was as simple as it sounds and as big of a hit as I hoped with the family!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Chocolate Mousse

This mousse is so easy to make!  and, well, chocolate-y goodness!  I have used it as a naturally gluten-free dessert to serve for family/friends.  I have also used it to celebrate our anniversary!  Seriously worth trying!

- 6 oz (or 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp coffee liqueur
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- (optional) raspberries, strawberries, whipped cream, nuts, or other toppings of choice!

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler setup.
While the chocolate is melting, in a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and beat, with a hand-held mixer, until very pale and thick and have doubled in size. Whisk in the coffee liqueur. When the chocolate has melted, whisk it into the egg yolk mixture.
In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream to medium peaks. Using 1/3 of the whipped cream at a time, fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Repeat this process until all the cream is incorporated. Transfer the mousse to (4-6) individual serving dishes and chill for at least 1 hour.
Garnish with fruit, nuts, cookies or whipped cream.
Thanks to Anne Burrell for this chocolate-y, amazing yumminess!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Vegetable Curry Soup

It is no secret at this point that I go through seasons of learning and enjoying certain flavor profiles.  Then, after a while I move on to the next flavor obsession.  Well, right now, it is Thai and other Southeastern Asian flavors.  I am so proud of this soup!  I love the light, clean feeling of vegetable soup, but I don't like giving up my flavor.  This. soup.  Try and enjoy!

Making broth.  Cook sweet potato, onion, garlic, and ginger til soft.  


Chop some beautiful and tasty vegetables,

 then add to the broth.

how is that picture for a southern girl enjoying Asian flavors?! ha!

- 1 red onion, divided, sliced and then quartered
- 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 -1 1/2 in ginger, sliced
- 1 medium sweet potato, chunky dice
- 2 quarts chicken broth, or vegetable broth to make vegetarian
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp salt and pepper each

- bok choy, 1 head, chopped
- 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
- carrot, 1 medium, thinly sliced

- 2-3 oz bean thread noodles (optional)
- chicken breast, 1-2, cooked, seasoned and diced (optional)

Saute 1/3 of the onion, garlic, ginger for one minute over medium heat to soften.  Then add the sweet potato, seasonings, and enough of the chicken or vegetable broth to cover the sweet potato.  Simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork.  Puree and then add back to the pot.  Slowly stir in the rest of the broth.  Taste the broth and season with extra curry, salt, and pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer.

Add in the vegetables.  Simmer for 20 minutes or longer depending on how crisp you would prefer the vegetables.  If using, add the bean thread noodles (which  my kids love and call them "slippery noodles") for the last 5 minutes.  Or, if using, add the diced chicken as you add the vegetables.

This was so good!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Any meal that starts like this has to be pretty awesome!

I really do love soups!  I love a warm bowl of soup all year, and especially during the winter.  I love to make a soup a side on Monday night with supper and then eat it for the rest of the week for lunch.  Soups for lunch were one of my favorite parts of Whole30, and this has been the easiest way I found to enjoy that habit during the busier school year.  Such a great way to enjoy whole without feeling like you're cooking all the time!  

- 3 lb plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 oz) canned plum tomatoes, with their juices
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 quart chicken stock or water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread the tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In a stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tbsp of olive oil, butter, and red pepper flakes for ten minutes, until the onions start to brown.  Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock.  Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.  Pass through a food mill with the coarsest blade.  (I use my blender and do a chunky blend.) Taste for seasonings.  Serve hot or cold.

This soup is so good!  I omitted the butter and tried it first during my last couple days of Whole30.  It is one that I have remade several times since.  I love it as is.  Will enjoys it as is, or some times I send it with 3 meatballs dropped into it.  Try it, so good!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ina's Weeknight Bolognese

I have to confess:  Ina is my new best friend, or obsession, whatever you want to call it.  I love Ina Garten and can read her cookbooks like novels.  Her beautiful pictures.  Her comments about each recipe.  In the last year, I have read 4 and am already stalking the next one(s!) I want!  I have tried a handful of recipes from each book, and she has never disappointed.  So, I shall share a few from my recent Ina-adventures; this being the first.

A friend who enjoys cooking almost as much as me said this is one of her and her husband's favorites.  A good bowl of spaghetti is always comforting.  But, this according to my friend, "is as close to a bowl of pasta from Italy as I have tasted since Italy."  That review of an Ina recipe was all the reason I needed to try this one!   And now I recommend it to you!  (from Ina Garten's How Easy Is That? cookbook)

- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground sirloin
- 4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 lb dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large (12 in) skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown.  Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.  Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape any browned bits.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tbsp salt, and 1 1/2 tsp pepper, stirring until combined.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tbsp of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.

While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce.  Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.  When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl.  Add the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well.  Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

Wonderful!  Absolutely wonderful!  
   It serves as a great change from the American spaghetti supper, not to replace but adds to the meal rotation in a deliciously Italian way.  Double and freeze half for later.  You'll not be sorry!

Chocolate Chess Pie

I have tried a couple recipes, but this is my favorite!  Simple.  Chocolate pie.  
It really needs no other introduction!

- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 9in pie crust (store bought, Ina Garten's recipe is my favorite homemade, or a homemade graham cracker crust), uncooked

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder.  Add eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, salt, and butter.  Mix well, and pour into prepared pie crust.

Bake for about 45 minutes.  There will be a little jiggle in the middle when its done.  Cool completely before serving.   Serve as is, or with whipped cream, or with berries.

This was a wonderful pinterest success!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My W30 - Week 4+

The final week and 2 days of Whole 30.  Here we go...
Breakfast:  By this point, sausage and potato oven baked hash are the easiest, and we both enjoy it!  But, to not get burned out, I did finally buy myself a quality nonstick skillet.  We have finally enjoyed some eggs, scrambled and omelet!

I find myself needing to scrounge one morning for breakfast.  Scrounging on Whole 30 is not easy.  But, this was tasty and it kept me full for quite a while too.  
A banana slice with almond butter (love Trader Joe's almond butter!)  Don't worry about the large portion of almond butter; you can't eat almond butter with my one year old around without her taking big bites as well.

I didn't take a picture of the first soup of the week, Vegetable Soup with Emeril's Essence-seasoned chicken.  So good!  Possibly Will's favorite.
On Saturday, I made an old favorite of ours, Vegetable Soup.  I changed up the vegetables a little based on some leftover vegetables I had in the fridge.

Monday:  Lemon Garlic Chicken with roasted green beans and roasted squash and tomatoes

 Tuesday:  Omelet bar (sauteed mushrooms, wilted spinach, tomatoes, bacon) with roasted broccolini
The kids LOVED this!!

Wednesday:  Hamburgers with a French Onion gravy, roasted potatoes and carrots
Have you ever taken the time to caramelize onions?  You have to.  Seriously, have to.  They are easy, just require some babysitting.  This night, I sliced 3 onions.  Started sauteing in some olive oil with a pinch of salt over medium heat.  Lower the heat to medium-low, put the lid on.  Allow to slowly cook for 15-20 minutes.  Remove lid and stir periodically until they start to brown.  Once caramelized, I added enough beef broth to make like a gravy.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

 Thursday - Chicken roasted with diced tomatoes, red pepper, and capers.  Served with roasted rainbow carrots (the kids thought this was awesome!) and sauteed brussel sprouts.

Friday - Grilled Romaine with Shrimp for appetizer.  Steak and a spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette.  

Saturday - We had soup for lunch and then a barbecue for some friends that evening.  Since we couldn't eat much, we ate some left over grilled romaine with shrimp.

Sunday - One Pan Teriyaki , this night was our new vegetable night - bok choy!  We will absolutely have it again!

Monday - We had a whole host of veggies left in the fridge that went into the planning of this night's supper,
Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub, all roasted in the oven:  squash, green beans and okra, carrots
This pork tenderloin was wonderful!!  I totally plan to use this rub again in the future - on pork as well as chicken!

Tuesday - DAY 30!!
Butter chicken over cauli-rice and wilted spinach with roasted broccoli

And that makes 30 days!