Monday, April 6, 2009
"Cajun" Pasta Alfredo
1 box bow tie pasta (I had a 12 oz. box, but 16 oz. might be better)
12 oz. evaporated milk
3 oz. grated Parmesan (looked like about half a cup or so)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning (I actually used some of Emeril's seasoning)
1 pkg. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips (I had about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 lb. kielbasa, sliced into half moons
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
salt & pepper to taste
2 sliced green onions
Get the pasta water going. Heat a large skillet (mine's a 12 inch) over medium high heat with a couple tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and bell pepper, sprinkle with some salt and saute until translucent (6-8 minutes). Add chicken and cajun seasoning and saute until mostly cooked through (6-8 minutes). Add kielbasa and cook another 5 minutes. Add garlic and peas and cook until all is heated through (3 minutes or so).
Meanwhile, combine the evaporated milk, Parmesan, and egg yolks. Turn skillet down to medium when the peas and garlic are heated through. Add the milk mixture and cook, stirring often. Hopefully the pasta water is boiling by now and cook pasta until al dente. When pasta is done and sauce has thickened some, drain the pasta and put back in the pot. Add the sauce and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy.
I think the most surprising part about this meal is that Bubba (who seems to be the pickiest) liked it.
Friday, January 30, 2009
As a side note, if you have any interest in cooking magazines, I would highly recommend Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country. I have subscriptions to both magazines and websites. I like being able to leaf through the magazine and the website gives full access to all recipes and product tests from past issues. Then I don't have to go find the issues, I can just search the site.
Shredded Barbecued Beef
Serves 8 to 10
If you prefer a smooth barbecue sauce, strain the sauce before tossing it with the beef in step 4. You will need a disposable aluminum roasting pan for this recipe. We like to serve this beef on white bread with plenty of pickle chips.
Spice Rub and Beef
|1||teaspoon cayenne pepper|
|1||boneless beef chuck-eye roast (5 to 6 pounds)|
|3||cups wood chips , soaked for 15 minutes|
|1||onion , chopped fine|
|4||garlic cloves , minced|
|1/2||teaspoon chili powder|
|1 1/4||cups ketchup|
|3/4||cup brewed coffee|
|1/2||cup cider vinegar|
|1/2||cup packed brown sugar|
|3||tablespoons Worcestershire sauce|
1. For the spice rub and beef: Combine salt, pepper, and cayenne in small bowl. Following photo 1, quarter roast and remove excess fat and gristle. Rub meat all over with salt mixture and transfer to large disposable aluminum roasting pan. (Salt-rubbed meat can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for 24 hours.)
2. Seal soaked wood chips in foil packet and cut vent holes in top. Open bottom vent on grill. Light 50 coals; when covered with fine gray ash, pour in pile on one side of grill. Arrange foil packet directly on coals. Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered, with lid vent open halfway, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 5 minutes. (For gas grill, place foil packet directly on primary burner. Heat all burners on high, covered, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and shut other burner[s] off.) Arrange roasting pan with beef on cooler side of grill and barbecue, covered, until meat is deep red and smoky, about 2 hours.
3. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Following photo 3, flip meat over, cover pan tightly with foil, and bake until fork inserted into meat can be removed with no resistance, 2 to 3 hours. Transfer meat to large bowl, tent with foil, and let rest 30 minutes. While meat rests, skim fat from accumulated juices in pan; reserve 2 tablespoons fat. Strain defatted juices; reserve 1/2 cup juice.
4. For the barbecue sauce and to finish: Combine onion and reserved fat in saucepan and cook over medium heat until onion has softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in remaining ingredients and reserved meat juices and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Using 2 forks, pull meat into shreds, discarding any excess fat or gristle. Toss meat with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Serve, passing remaining sauce at table.
Hearty Beef Stew
Serves 6 to 8
If you’re going to be away from your slow cooker for more than 10 hours, cutting the vegetables into larger, 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces will help them retain their texture.
|5||pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast , trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes|
|Table salt and ground black pepper|
|3||tablespoons vegetable oil|
|4||medium onions , chopped fine|
|1||(6-ounce) can tomato paste|
|2||cups low-sodium chicken broth or beef broth|
|3||tablespoons soy sauce|
|1||pound carrots , peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces|
|1||pound parsnips , peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces|
|1||pound red potatoes , cut into 1-inch pieces|
|1 1/2||teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves|
|2||tablespoons Minute Tapioca|
|2||cups frozen peas , thawed|
1. Dry beef with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow-cooker insert and repeat with remaining beef (you shouldn’t need more oil).
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil, onions, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to empty skillet and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring well, for 2 minutes. Add broth and soy sauce, bring to simmer, and transfer to slow-cooker insert.
3. Toss carrots, parsnips, potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap vegetables in foil packet that will fit in slow cooker. Stir bay leaves and tapioca into slow-cooker insert; set vegetable packet on top of beef.
4. Set slow cooker to high, cover, and cook for 6 to 7 hours. (Or cook on low for 10 to 11 hours.) Transfer vegetable packet to plate. Carefully open packet (watch for steam) and stir vegetables and juices into stew. Add remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and peas and let stand until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
You can do most of the prep for this recipe the night before the ingredients go into the slow cooker. Prepare the recipe through step 2 and refrigerate the browned beef and onion mixture in separate containers. In the morning, just transfer everything to the slow cooker and proceed with step 3. The cooking time will run to the high end of the ranges given in the recipe.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Although just about any mild beer will work in this recipe, we particularly enjoyed the sweet flavor of O’Doul’s nonalcoholic amber.
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter|
|1||large onion , chopped fine|
|2||medium carrots , peeled and chopped fine|
|2||pounds 85 percent lean ground beef|
|Table salt and ground black pepper|
|5||tablespoons all-purpose flour|
|1||tablespoon tomato paste|
|1/4||cup heavy cream|
|1 3/4||cups low-sodium chicken broth|
|3/4||cup beer (see note above)|
|2||tablespoons soy sauce|
|2||teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves|
|1||cup frozen peas|
|2 1/2||pounds russet potatoes . peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces|
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter , melted|
|1/3||cup heavy cream , warmed|
|Ground black pepper|
|1||large egg , beaten|
1. For the filling: Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat until foaming. Add onion and carrots and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add meat, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up meat into small pieces with wooden spoon, until browned, about 12 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste and cook until paste begins to darken, about 1 minute.
2. Add cream and cook until it spatters, about 1 minute. Add broth, beer, soy sauce, and thyme and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick but still saucy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in peas, adjust seasonings, and transfer to broilersafe 2-quart casserole dish.
3. For the topping: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and water to cover to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, return to saucepan, and mash potatoes with butter and cream until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Spread potatoes over filling, using spatula to smooth top (see photo). Brush with egg and drag fork across top to make ridges. Bake until filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Turn on broiler and cook until top is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Serve.
Make the filling through step 2, but do not add the peas. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to proceed, reheat the filling in a large saucepan, stir in the peas, and transfer to a broilersafe 2-quart casserole. Proceed with the recipe from step 3.
Red Beans and Rice
Andouille is the traditional sausage for this dish, but we also had good results with kielbasa.
|4||slices bacon , chopped medium|
|1||small onion , chopped fine|
|1||green bell pepper , chopped fine|
|1||rib celery , chopped fine|
|4||cloves garlic , minced|
|Ground black pepper|
|1||teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves|
|1||teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves|
|1/2||teaspoon cayenne pepper|
|1||pound dried red kidney beans , rinsed and picked over|
|7||cups low-sodium chicken broth|
|1/2||pound andouille sausage or kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons|
|6||cups cooked long-grain rice (from 3 cups raw rice)|
|Hot pepper sauce|
1. Cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned and fat has rendered, about 7 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon pepper, oregano, thyme, cayenne, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, beans, broth, and water, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain vigorous simmer (mixture will be steaming and several bubbles should be breaking the surface) and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are soft and liquid thickens, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
2. Stir in sausage and cook until liquid is thick and creamy, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over hot cooked rice with hot pepper sauce, if desired. (Leftover beans can be refrigerated in airtight container for several days.)
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Apple Crisp Oatmeal
3 cups water
1 cup lowfat 1% milk
2-1/2 cups rolled oats
2 large apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
Bring water and milk to a boil over medium high heat.
Add oats, apples, and pecans. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for one more minute, uncovered.
Steel Cut Oatmeal
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Serves: 4 servings
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups boiling water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine the milk and half of the buttermilk with the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with remaining buttermilk, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Friday, January 2, 2009
If you don’t have buttermilk, whisk 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 1¼ cups of milk and let it stand until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Avoid coarsely ground cornmeal, which makes gritty biscuits.
|1 1/4||cups buttermilk|
|2||cups all-purpose flour|
|1||tablespoon baking powder|
|1/2||teaspoon baking soda|
|12||tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled|
1. SOAK CORNMEAL Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk cornmeal, buttermilk, and honey in large bowl; let sit 10 minutes.
2. PROCESS DOUGH Pulse flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and butter in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add to bowl with buttermilk mixture and stir until dough forms.
3. KNEAD Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 8 to 10 times. Pat dough into 9-inch circle, about ¾ inch thick. Using 2½-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds (dipping cutter in flour after each cut) and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Gather remaining dough and pat into ¾-inch-thick circle. Cut rounds from dough and transfer to baking sheet.
4. BAKE Bake until biscuits begin to rise, about 5 minutes, and then reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake until golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes more. Let cool 5 minutes on sheet, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature. (Biscuits can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.)