Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (this cut is also called chuck shoulder pot roast and chuck roast boneless)
1 bottle good quality dry red wine (Tyler recommends burgundy....I used my favorite Black Dog from Chateau Morrisette...down the street from Melin's cabin!)
8 fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips (I left this out....orange and beef?)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I left this out...just not crazy about cloves!)2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups beef stock (I used Kitchen Basics)
9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups frozen pearl onions, a large handful
1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
Horseradish Sour Cream, recipe follows, for garnish
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.
While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.
Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strip, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.
To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl, garnish with parsley, drizzle with olive oil and add a dollop of Horseradish Sour Cream. Right before serving add a slice of toasted french bread, rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, half way submerged in the stew.
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Salt and pepper
Chives, finely chopped, as garnish
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ok Here it is…… Ta…da……
Melinda’s Cabin Chicken Chili:
I promise you will fight over the last spoon full… it’s that good J
2-3 lbs of skinless boneless chicken thighs (cut up in to 1 inch pieces with a scissor)
3 tablespoons of chili powder
4 tablespoons of cumin
One large bottle of mild salsa (or 2-3 med size bottles)
2 (small 8-10 ozs) cans of chicken stock
2 cans red kidney beans (drained but not rinsed)
2 cans Negro black beans (drained but not rinsed)
1 large stock pot (the kind you boil pasta in)
Once you have cut up the chicken thighs sauté the meat in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium heat
Add the chili powder and cumin while sautéing the chicken thigh meat and stir frequently so the chicken does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Once the chicken is partially cooked add in your remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and let cook for an additional hour on medium –low heat, and then serve with corn bread (see recipe below)
If you like the taste of cilantro and lime, cut up fresh cilantro and sprinkle on top of the chicken chili in individual bowls and then squeeze 1/8th of a lime into the chili in individual bowls (yum-yum)
You can add some hot sauce too, it doesn’t need to be added when cooking (the taste doesn’t change)
Makes enough for 6-8 people
To serve a bunch (like up at the cabin) just double triple or quadruple the ingredients- it last in the frig for up to a week and can be frozen for up to 6 months (don’t be surprised if it thickens, I personally like it best the second day when it has thickened more!
Brad’s Smack Your Lips Corn Bread
One box corn bread mix- follow the directions on the side of the box
In place of the liquid in the directions, substitute a can of creamed corn, bake as directed ( in a 9inch pan or individual cup cake papers and a muffin pan) Serve hot, some like breaking up the corn bread into the chicken chili, I love it with a little butter melting on top… to each his own…
Bon Appétit mes Amie!! Love to all Melin
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
....but there isn't an "after" photo! The smell of them cooking together was overwhelming....I even opened the oven door with a fork in my hand a couple of times.....as soon as it came out of the oven, it was on the plate. Wow.....it was delicious! So, the next time you make the butternut squash, try adding some crushed garlic and/or thyme, and/or rosemary....then toss and bake. It's yummmm!
Friday, November 7, 2008
At first I just did what my Mom did....stuffed it with my stuffing, buttered, salted and peppered the top and threw it in the oven until the plastic thing popped up. I threw out the plastic thing quite some time ago, but the other things I still do. But I've added a few new tricks to my repertoire!!
I have also deep fried my turkey, but it was always as a back up. I can't stand the thought of not having that baking turkey smell in my kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, nor would I ever be able to live without those intensely flavored drippings in the bottom of the pan for my gravy!
I've even smoked turkeys.....in fact, add about 40 more turkeys to that count above! There was a time that about two weeks before Christmas we spent EVERY evening smoking a turkey, wrapping in in cellophane, topping it with red plaid ribbon and holly and delivering it to a wonderful friend! They were delicious, but again, no turkey aroma or drippings!
For the last two years, Dennis and I have brined our turkeys! For those who wish to brine, here's my recipe:
Now........this year I've heard about a new way of cooking a turkey. The premises is that the water in the brining tends to make the meat a little rubbery, albeit very juicy. This technique is called "salting". According to Bon Appetit, "the salt draws moisture from the interior of the bird to the surface, where it combines with the salt and other seasonings. Eventually, that flavorful salted liquid is reabsorbed by the meat, seasoning it throughout". Of course, I did some other researching on the internet and those who have tried it say it has the flavor of brining, but has a better texture. Just for you, we tried it!
I bake my turkey at 325 degrees until the thermometer registers 170 degrees. Once you take it out of the oven, baste the turkey again so that taking off the cheesecloth won't tear the skin. The cheesecloth is a "MUST".....it helps to keep the turkey moist and it makes for an evenly browned skin.Voila....a beautifully browned turkey.....and the meat was juicy and tender...not dry and rubbery. I think I may have found a winner....not that it will keep me from my annual turkey cooking research! I'm always looking for a new way to make my food better! Before I go, let me add a tip..........make sure your turkey has no additives or preservatives....that will completely ruin your bird! You just want a nice, fresh turkey.....or nice, freshly frozen bird!
Let me know how yours turns out!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I got that recipe sooooo long ago that it's in shreds right now....touch it and it turns to dust. But it's a great recipe and although I've seen it duplicated in many ways, I still make it the same. You start by making your "starter". Before commercial yeasts and baking powders were available, this is similar to how bread was made.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I'm excited about her cooking her first one by herself...but I'm sure it won't hit me until she's not here at my stove just how hard it will be to cook my own. I will miss her, no doubt, and even though Evan has actually volunteered to wear her apron this year there will be a hole in this Thanksgiving. But I truly am excited for her to cook her first one by herself.....I can't wait for her to realize what a great cook she is. She is soooo much better than I was at her age!
I love you, Shelby.............and I miss you..........and I'm so excited for you and the life you are living.
PS - The first in the Thanksgiving series will be the cooking of the turkey. I have cooked them the way my Mom did....I've brined, deep fried and smoked.....and this year I think I've made a new discovery..............................check back for Tim Turkey, 2008! (The turkey for the series is courtesy of Shelby.........her last paycheck from Harbor's Edge)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
This time I decided to add a little twist and it turned out awesome! I started by chopping up my onions. I prefer this method versus the rounds....easier to cut!
I made a small batch, so I used two onions and a half stick of butter. I melted the butter and added the onions, a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf, 1 chopped garlic clove, salt and pepper. I let them cook on medium low for about 25 minutes until they were nice and carmelized. While the onions were cooking, I put the bread in the oven. I love the "Take and Bake" french bread at Food Lion....it's delicious!I also shredded my cheese. I usually use slices of provolone....I love how it melts down the side of the bowl when you broil it. But this time I used Gruyere....it's nutty and delicious, but you have to shred it. Then I added about a half cup of red wine and let that completely reduce. Next I added about a tablespoon of flour and stirred it in well......you have to make sure that red wine is gone and all that's left are the onions and the butter or you'll have lumps! Once that's done, I added a quart of beef stock and two cans of beef broth (but you can use all broth or all stock....it was just what I had on hand).
Bring the soup back up to temperature and it's done! Next ladel the soup into bowls and float slices of the french bread on top.......cover with a nice layer of the shredded cheese, place on a baking sheet and broil for about 3 to 5 minutes....make sure you keep an eye on them!! The only thing left to do is eat!!!
It was delicious! I'll make it this way from now on!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Melinda got off earlier than Brad, so she came on over to help me prepare dinner......Herb Crusted Pork Loin with Roasted Vegetables and Yeast Rolls!!!!!!!! We had a blast getting things ready and taking pictures to post here! So here's how it went!
Herb Crusted Pork Loin (I will post the actual recipe at the end of this post.....we didn't use it, so we'll walk you through what we did!):
We got our aromatics together for the crust: rosemary, thyme, parsley, green onions (regular onions, shallots or leeks work just as well!!!), LOTS of garlic, fresh bread, salt, pepper and olive oil. I used my mini food processor, so I put the herbs in first and processed them until they couldn't process any more......then I poured them in the bowl and processed the bread (I used about 5 slices for this loin) and added it to the herb mixture. Melinda then stirred that while pouring olive oil into the mixture to form the "stuffing-like" crust. Next we sliced open the loin and spread the herb crust mixture inside....closed that up.....salted and peppered the top of the loin, then added the remaining herb crust mixture. Tah Dah!!!!! That's it!!! I baked it at 375 degrees until my meat thermometer registered 165 degrees, which was about an hour.
For the roasted vegetables, I sliced longwise zucchini and yellow squash into slices about 1/4 inch and put them in a large zip top bag. Then I sliced a tomato into four slices and added that....I also added green onions (Cut about two inches above the white part), red bell pepper and shitake mushrooms. Then I covered them with my marinade, which is simply Good Seasonings Garlic and Herb Dressing made with olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of the veggie oil and vinegar (I love it!!!). I made sure everything was well coated and let it sit until Dennis cooked them on the grill.........ooops!!!! We forgot to take pictures of him cooking the veggies!!!!!!!!!!!
After the pork loin came out, we covered it and let it sit and put the yeast rolls in the oven....15 minutes later everything was done!!! Brad sliced the pork and we all hovered over him with our plates! It was a delicious dinner with wonderful friends! Brad and Melinda, thanks for spending such a beautiful evening with us.....and Shugs thanks you for her pills....she's resting comfortably!!!