Dinner, Meat, Moroccan, Stew

Beef and Sweet Potato Harissa

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As the Beatles said “I get by with a little help from my friends”.  For this recipe, my “friend” was store bought Harissa Simmer sauce.  I keep reading about Harissa in magazines and have always wanted to try it.  However, this past weekend, I was in the mood for something delicious and fast.  So, I used the simmer sauce.  But I did doctor it up.  It turned out delicious! I mean, really delicious! MIND-BLOWING DELICIOUS!  Here is what you will need.

Ingredients:

1.5lbs stew beef

2 sweet potatoes, diced

1 large red onion, diced into large chunks

1 tomato, diced

1 can of red kidney beans

1 packet of Harissa simmer sauce ( I used Saffron Road)

2 tsp of cinnamon

2 tbsp of olive oil

salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste.

2 tbsp of chopped scallions

Lime wedges for serving (optional)

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Method:

Brown the meat in oil and set aside.

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Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, salt pepper and cinnamon and cook till vegetables soften.

Add the meat, beans and pour in the sauce.  I filled the pouch with water to rinse off every last bit of the sauce and poured it into the pot.

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Simmer on medium high heat for 30 40 mins, till meat and vegetables and fork tender. Add scallions at the very end and take off heat.

Serve hot with polenta or couscous.

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Comfort food, Dinner, Poultry, Stew

Chicken Sausage Stew

This is a light stew for those cool rainy summer nights.  I used store bought chicken sausages along with mushrooms and roasted red peppers for some depth of flavor.  

saute mushrooms till golden brown.    

add sliced roasted red peppers ( from a jar), 1 bunch of chopped of scallions, a few springs to thyme, 2 tsp of minced garlic and 1tsp of red pepper flakes. Saute for a few minutes to marry the ingredients.  

Add water or chicken stock just enough to cover all the vegetables.  I also added a pinch of saffron for an exotic flare.  You can most certainly omit it.  

Add the cooked, sliced sausage and simmer till the stew thickens to desired thickness.  Serve warm with garlic bread !  Polenta would be a great gluten-free option for a side with this stew.  I would also consider making the stew with shrimp instead of  chicken.  Eggplant and butternut squash would be a great vegetarian alternative.

Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Meat, Stew

Beef Short Ribs

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Hello readers ! It has been quite a while since I have posted.  The last few months have been a whirlwind with the holidays and my travel back home to India.  It took me a while to settle back into the pace pf things and I realized that I had stopped cooking for myself and had reverted back to the old habit of eating caned soup and vending machine granola bars ! The very thing I wanted to avoid and which is why I started writing this blog !!!!!!  Anyway ! I am back and here with our Valentine’s Day meal ! Nothing says love like a big bowl of rich beef stew !  Thank you Ina Garten for the recipe !

Ingredients

6 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 small fennel, fronds, stems, and core removed, large-diced
1 leek, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (750-ml) bottle Cotes du Rhone or other dry red wine
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 cups beef stock
Directions

Season short ribs with salt and pepper and fry in a large Dutch oven till  golden brown and set aside.

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In the remaining oil add the fennel, leek, onion, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.IMG_0568

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Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and cook for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

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Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poultry

Chicken with Artichokes, Leeks and Tarragon

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While the ingredients are suitable for a light spring-time meal, it is still a stew that will warm you up on these early fall days.  Light and healthy. add this variation to you list of chicken recipes !

Ingredients:
4 chicken thighs w
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp of thyme and garlic powder
10oz bag of frozen artichokes
1/4 C fresh tarragon leaves
10oz bag of chopped leeks
1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
1 C chicken stock
Juice of one lemon and its zest ( set aside)

Method:

Preheat oven to 425F. Pat chicken dry and season with kosher salt and pepper. 1 T olive oil in a heavy bottom oven proof pot over med high heat. Sear chicken till brown, they will finish cooking in the oven.

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Add leeks, artichokes, garlic powder and thyme. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they just begin to soften. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper

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Add stock, fennel seeds, 3/4 of the fresh tarragon and 3/4 of the zest. Give a stir, bring to a simmer, and taste broth adjusting salt and pepper. Nestle the chicken pieces into the stew and roast in a hot 425 F oven for 20-30 minutes till cooked through.

Garnish with lemon zest and fresh tarragon.

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Classics, Comfort food

Slow-cooker Goulash

Also known as Hungarian Paprikash, this is a great variation to your traditional beef stew.  The interesting part of this recipe is that I got it from “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook” !!!! Somebody took the time to go through the series and figure out what the characters ate, and then they archived them into a book.  I got it as a birthday present last year.  This was the first recipe I was made from the book and it was a hit !  This time around, I made it in a slow cooker and it worked just as well.  Try this recipe on the next cold, damp, rainy day.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp of olive oil

2 pounds of stew meat (beef)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 ribs of celery, finely chopped

2, 14 oz cans of chicken stock

1, 10 oz package of mushrooms, chopped

3 Tbsp of paprika (or more if needed)

1 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped

3 Tbsp of tomato paste

1/2 cup sour cream (I used greek yogurt instead)

salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

In 1 Tbsp of oil, brown the beef in batches till golden brown and crusty on the outside.  Set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a pan, and saute the celery, onions, paprika and tomato paste.

Add the beef and onion, celery mixture to the slow-cooker and cover with chicken stalk.  Cook on high for about 3 hrs.

After 3hrs, add the peppers and mushrooms to the stew.  Cook for another 2 hrs or till the meat falls apart.

At this point, take some of the stew liquid and use it to thin out the greek yogurt.  Add the slurry back to the stew.  Stir, adjust salt, paprika and pepper and simmer for another 30mins.

Serve hot with crusty bread or egg noodles.

Classics, Comfort food, French

Ratatouille

A bowl of stew full of fresh summer veggies ! There really is nothing more to say about this recipe.  I guess if you make your kids watch the cartoon “Ratatouille” and serve them this stew–you might just be able to make them eat their veggies !

Ratatouille adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle, and Julia Child.

Ingredients:

½ lb. eggplant

½ lb. zucchini and yellow squash

4 Tb. olive oil, more if needed

½ lb. (about 1 ½ cups) thinly sliced yellow onions

2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers (I used red peppers–just because I had them in the fridge)

2 cloves mashed garlic

1 lb. firm, ripe, red tomatoes

3 Tb. minced parsley Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Chop the eggplant and salt it and let it stand for a 20-30 minutes till all the water drains out.

Meanwhile chop the rest of the vegetables.

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and fry the eggplant till soft, and set it aside.

Next heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and saute the squash and the zucchini till tender.

Next, heat the remaining oil and add the garlic, tomatoes, pepper and onions and saute till soft.

Now add back the other vegetables and let them stew together for about 30 mins till all the vegetables fall apart and marry into the stew.

Towards the very end, adjust salt and pepper and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Serve hot or warm or even at room temperature.  I sometimes add a fried egg on top to add some protein to my meal and make it a little more filling.

I am a huge fan of this recipe and I truly advocate in its power of converting vegetables haters to lovers.  Please try this and I encourage in using fresh vegetables since all the flavor comes from them.  Try it this French classic this weekend !

Comfort food

Creole Stew

This is a go to recipe of mine and I am sure you will like this stew if you are a fan of okras and warm spices.  I use frozen okra and peppers and big pieces of chicken (thighs or breasts-your pick) add heartiness to this comforting stew.  I hope you enjoy it–a bowl of this stew is perfect on cool spring night with some homemade cornbread !

Ingredients:

I Tbsp of olive oil

1tsp of chopped garlic

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium onion chopped

1 8oz can of tomato sauce

1 16oz bag od mixed peppers

1 16oz bag o frozen, chopped okra

1lb of chicken breasts

1 bay leaf

1 Tbsp of ground cumin

1 Tbsp of dried oregano

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper (please adjust according to heat preference)

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pot and saute onions, garlic and celery.

Once translucent, add the rest of the vegetables, 1 8oz can of tomato sauce and all the spices with salt and pepper.

Saute for about 5-8mins and add the chicken.

Saute for a another 5mins till the chicken is slightly cooked on the outside.

Add the bay leaf and water to cover the chicken and vegetables and simmer on medium heat for about 20-30min, till the chicken is cooked through and the stew comes down to desired consistency.

Serve hot with a side of cornbread !