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One of the things I did over the holidays was make stock. Lots and lots of stock. Which led to many soups and stews over the past few weeks. We made a lot of old favorites (like split pea and turkey noodle), and a few new ones! This beef noodle stew is a rich hearty classic that I’d been craving for a while. There’s just something about a rich beefy stew when it’s freezing outside – warms and fills you up in the most satisfying way.

beef noodle stew

Beef Stew with Noodles
via martha stewart

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups beef, turkey or chicken broth
1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups egg noodles
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until seared and brown, about 6 minutes. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion just begins to soften (reducing heat if necessary), about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour until beef and onion are coated and cook 1 to 2 minutes (careful not to burn). Add broth and 3 cups water, stirring and scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until beef is tender, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, stir in parsley and vinegar.

Slightly spicy, perfectly lemony delicious roasted chicken is what this should be called. I made this on a Sunday night, but there was so little prep, it could be easily managed after work one night. I served it with my favorite risotto (that I haven’t made in 3 years!! due to an inability to track down escarole). This wonderfully flavored chicken was the perfect balance to the warm, creamy side dish. It has just the right about of bite and tang.

roasted chicken with lemon and oregano

Roasted Chicken Thighs With Lemon And Oregano
via bon appetit

1 lemon
4 large or 8 small skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 sprigs oregano
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425°. Very thinly slice half of lemon; discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon oil. Add chicken, skin side down. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, and pouring off excess fat to maintain a thin coating in pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes.
Scatter half of lemon slices over chicken and half on bottom of skillet (the slices on top of the chicken will soften; those in the skillet will caramelize). Transfer skillet to oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, 6-8 minutes.
Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.) Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Remove skillet from heat. Add wine; cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add broth; cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.

You know, I really like meatballs, but I never thought I’d truly be wowed by them until tonight. And I mean WOW. I’m actually speechless. This is not a flavor combination that I would have thought to put together, but it totally knocked my socks off. And I snuck in a little extra goodness with the addition of a little spinach in the mix; it added just the right amount of green to the meat & grains. SO excited for these leftovers, and to expand my spice horizon a bit more! I’m thinking I might double the sauce next time, because personally I love a ridiculous amount of sauce and want to smother the rice as well as the meatballs, but maybe that’s just me! And a dollop of plain yogurt at the end could be great too… hmmm….

Garam Masala Spiced Meatballs with Buttery Marinara_1

Garam Masala Spiced Meatballs with Buttery Marinara
via bev cooks

for the meatballs:
2 slices grainy bread
1/4 cup milk
1 pound ground turkey
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbs. minced parsley
1 Tbs. minced shallot (or about 1/2 small shallot)
1 Tbs. garam masala
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 egg
1/4 tsp kosher salt

for the marinara:
28oz can crushed (San Marzano, if they’re available) tomatoes
3 cloves sliced garlic
1 white onion, cut in half
4 Tbs. butter
1 tsp dried oregano

1 cup white rice (jasmine or basmati)
a couple of handfuls of baby spinach
additional minced parsley for garnish

Pulse the bread in a food processor until it becomes crumbly. Place the crumbs in a small bowl and pour the milk over it. Combine with your hands until the bread is moist. In a large bowl, place the turkey, garlic, shallot, parsley, garam masala, turmeric, egg, and parmesan cheese. Add the bread mix and salt. Combine with your hands. Form 1-inch balls and place them on a tray or plate until you’re ready to cook (mine sat for about an hour).
Add the onion halves, crushed tomatoes, garlic, butter and oregano to a large pot. Let simmer on low for about 45 minutes. In the meantime, cook the rice as directed.
Also in the meantime, heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the meatballs and sear on both sides until you get some good browning. Once browned, transfer the meatballs to the sauce to finish cooking, about 20 minutes. Fish out the onion halves if you need to make room. Give a pinch of salt to the sauce at the very end. Spoon the rice into bowls and top with a handful of spinach. Dish the meatballs and a nice spoonful or two of sauce over the top. Finish with a sprinkle of parsley and serve hot!

Garam Masala Spiced Meatballs with Buttery Marinara_2

Success! My first attempt at beef bourguignon was not only successful, but completely delicious. While I haven’t tackled the only-and-only Julia Child’s recipe yet (I think the movie did scare me a bit), the recipe below was still a labor of love, just with a little less labor but all of the goodness. It’s definitely a Sunday meal, but not quite the behemoth it was made out to be. Instead of the classic pot roast, this will always be my go-to. And with a nearly full bottle of cognac now gracing my counter, I think I might just have to make this once a month. Dinner party anyone?

beef bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon
via food52

3 pounds beef chuck, cut in 2-inch chunks
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cognac
4 large carrots
1 large yellow onion, cut in chunks
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 750 ml. bottle full-bodied red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried thyme
10 ounces pearl onions, peeled
1/2 pound white mushrooms, halved (quartered if large)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 F. Pat meat dry. Season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large Dutch-oven or oven-proof pan with lid over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef to pan in one layer. Brown on all sides. Transfer beef to a bowl. Add cognac to pan and deglaze pan over medium-high heat, scraping up bits. Allow to reduce by half. Pour cognac over beef.
Coarsely chop 2 carrots. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan. Add chopped carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes over medium heat. Add beef with cognac, wine, stock, tomato paste and thyme. (Beef should be covered by the wine and stock. If not, add more wine or stock to cover.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes. Cover and place in oven. Bake until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 -3 hours.
About 30 minutes before beef is done, cut remaining carrots in 1/2″ slices. Steam or blanch carrots until crisp tender; drain. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté pearl onions and mushrooms until light golden brown. Remove beef from oven. Strain liquid from stew into a saucepan. Separate beef from the cooked vegetables and discard vegetables. Boil liquid until reduced by half and thickened to a sauce consistency, skimming fat from surface. Add sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add beef, carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms to stock. Simmer 15 minutes to heat through. Serve in warm bowls.
Beef Bourguignon may be prepared up to two days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Before reheating, discard any solidified fat from surface. Reheat over medium-low heat on stovetop or in a 325 F oven.

For the game yesterday (go hawks!!!), I finally made this killer corn dip that’s been sitting on my to-do list since the summer. And it turned out awesome! I can’t even put into words what a perfect mix of flavors and textures this is – and so easy! Definitely my new go-to for parties and football sundays. Particularly in the summer, when the corn will be even sweeter. Yum!

corn and cotija cheese dip

Corn & Cotija Cheese Dip
via minimalist baker

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 cups fresh corn, cut off the cob (about 3-4 ears)
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sour cream (or you could use plain Greek yogurt)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated cotija cheese + more for topping
1/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and shallot. Stir constantly to prevent burning, cook for 3 minutes, until the shallot begins to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add corn, 1/4 tsp each sea salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 5 minutes until shallots appear softened and the corn is slightly darker in color. Then remove from heat.
In a large bowl mix together sour cream, cream cheese, cotija. Add corn mixture to the bowl and stir until well combined.
Use the additional tbsp of olive oil to lightly grease the skillet, so the dip doesn’t stick. Spoon dip back into the skillet (I grated a little additional cotija on top here, about 1/4 cup) and bake 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle the green onions on top and serve immediately.
We served it with tortilla chips, but veggies, crackers or bread slices would be great too!

I’d been craving brussels sprouts, but I needed a break from bacon. Crazy right? I know. But I really needed to try something new when it came to these little balls of green deliciousness. Mustard and sauteed onions for just the right amount of tang? Yes, please! The original recipe called for tossing in a handful of pecans at the end too, if that’s your thing.

brussels sprouts with warm mustard dressing

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Warm Mustard Dressing
via pbs

1 lb brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium red onion
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Remove the tough outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts and then trim and cut the the sprouts in half (top to bottom so that the core holds the leaves together). Add the Brussels sprouts to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat evenly. Add the salt and pepper and toss to combine. Grill the brussels sprouts cut-side down on a medium hot grill until the sprout is lightly charred and cooked through about 4-7 minutes. If you are using a broiler, broil them cut side up.
While the sprouts are grilling, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan and fry the onions until tender. Add the mustard and honey and continue frying until the honey starts to caramelize. Add the vinegar, stir to combine, and then pour the hot dressing over the grilled Brussels sprouts. Serve warm.

So before I dive into the ten thousand-ish soups and stews I made this season, we had a nice break last month from the comfort food with this light, bright, fresh dish. It feels perfect for January actually. A breath of fresh air after all that holiday eating and leftovers and meals made from leftovers. I cooked the rice the night before while something else was stewing, which made this super quick and perfect for a weeknight too.

chicken green bean stir fry with basil cream sauce

Chicken & Green Bean Stir-Fry with Basil-Sour Cream Sauce
via the kitchn

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1 tablespoon honey
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1 large or 2 small breasts), cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
Salt and pepper
Sunflower or other high heat oil
12 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
2 cups cooked white or brown rice, for serving

Combine the sour cream, basil, and honey in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place a wok or large skillet over high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until it just begins to brown, about 3 minutes, stirring a couple times to evenly cook. Add the green beans and bell pepper and cook another 3 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Serve over rice and drizzled with the basil sour cream.