Eat Something











{October 11, 2008}   Beef and Mushroom Sauce
yeah I know, I am not a food porn artist... but I just eat, you are the ones who asked for pictures, despite being less than fabulous with the camera I try to indulge...

yeah I know, I am not a food porn artist... but I just eat, you are the ones who asked for pictures, despite being less than fabulous with the camera I try to indulge...

before the boil and simmer...

before the boil and simmer...

Beef and Mushroom Sauce
1.5 lb cubed beef
s/p, garlic/onion pwd
3T flour
(oil if needed)
1 c red wine (I used cab, oh yeah that S.African obsession)
1 c water (could use beef broth if you are prepared)
13 oz can mushrooms, drained (dr 8 oz; can use fresh and cook with the meat)

Season the meat and brown it up on all sides… push the meat off to one side and add the flour to make a roux with the run off (if you have leaner meat add oil as needed until the flour is coated, or you can drain the grease and do the whole thing with oil too)… stir the roux until the flour begins to golden a bit, the mix in the wine and the water, and then the mushrooms… Cover and bring to a boil for a couple of minutes, then reduce to a simmer… when beef is tender, serve over rice or noodles or even mashed potatoes…



{October 11, 2008}   Crockpot Simmered Gumbo

So first thing first, this isn’t really a crockpot recipe in the since of dump it all in the crock in 5 mins or less on your way out the door… but rather a “I have time to cook the bits but I need to leave the house a few times while it is simmering so I’ll put it in the crockpot” kind of thing… so you do need to plan some time to deal with it either in the morning or the night before… and you could skimp on browning your meats and sauteing your veg if you’re not worried about the caramelization/flavor loss there… but you should really take your time with the roux and get it nice and dark over a slow heat as this will make a huge impact on flavor, and if you rush it you’re likely to either burn it or have uneven patches and starting over makes it take a lot more time than doing it slow and right in the first place… so at least plan time for the roux…

If you want to make the whole thing on the stove, just use a serving platter to pile the cooked meat and veg on as you go and while you make the roux, then whisk in all your liquid and bring to a boil… add back all your bits, cover, return to a boil and reduce to a simmer… then add the shrimp in the last five minutes or so from when you want to eat and simmer right in the gumbo (until they are pink and curled up tight like a clip on earring)…

with the shrimp and over rice...

with the shrimp and over rice...

Crockpot Simmered Gumbo
3/4-1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
1.5-2 lb cubed beef **
1.5-2 lb chicken breast tenders (mine were frozen), cut in spoon friendly chunks
2 qts chicken stock, separated (if you want to make this not in the crock you’ll probably want around 3 qts)
1/2 lb cajun style bacon ***
2 lg onions, diced
1 head garlic, minced
oregano, garlic/onion pwd, thyme, blk pep, bay leaves
1/2 head celery, diced (about 2-2.5 c)
7 carrots, diced (about 2-2.5 c)
about 1/2 c flour
1-2 bell peppers, diced
handful of okra pods (or say 7), finely sliced ****
1-1.5 T King Creole seasoning (courtesy of Joelen from the prize booty, but please adjust to your tastes)
2-3 lbs shrimp (most people will prefer these shelled, I’d suppose)

Preheat your crock on high, preheat your pan to med high or high… Brown up the sausage on both sides, add to the crock… brown up the beef on all sides (doesn’t have to cook thru just want a good sear with some nice browned bits), and add to the crock… then I added water to deglaze the pan and poached the chicken a bit to thaw it and make it easy to chop… chopped and added them to the crock… topped the meat in the crock with 1 qt of the stock… dumped the deglazed poaching liquid down the drain (as I didn’t need the extra liquid in the crock and knew the stock would be tastier)… reduce to medium, and set about crisping the bacon, drained off about 1/2 c of the bacon grease (most of it)and reserved… add the onions and garlic (more oil if particularly needed, I did not but depends on the leanness of your bacon and how crisp you cooked it, so you gauge that) along with the seasonings (which I actually remembered to measure but didn’t remember to write down) and cook until onions are becoming translucent… add celery and carrots (I add only half the celery to saute so there is a contrast of soft and crisp, but you can saute all or none as you wish…) and continue cooking until they caramelize a bit, then add to the crock… I reduce the heat to med-low (but you could probably get by on med if you are careful, attentive and a diligent stirrer) add the reserved bacon grease and the flour to the pan to make your roux, and darken to about a walnut color, stirring constantly… whisk in the other qt of stock and bring to a boil, boil 2-3 minutes to thicken and pour into the crock… add the peppers,okra, and cajun/creole seasoning and reduce the heat to Low and allow to simmer all day… when we were getting ready to eat, pulled out some of the gumbo broth into the pan to boil the shrimp and add back to the gumbo (I added them to the kids’ and the Hubster’s portions)…

give it a little stir... and now you are ready to simmer it, while you go about what you have to do...

give it a little stir... and now you are ready to simmer it, while you go about what you have to do...

this is about how dark you want it... trust me, it is worth it to go slow...

this is about how dark you want it... trust me, it is worth it to go slow...

Ive got carcasses, yes I do... but Im not making stock, how bout you?

Ive got carcasses, yes I do... but Im not making stock, how bout you?

 

 

 

 

 

             NB: technically, I took the roux a touch darker than the pic… but that was a good point to snag the pic and still get the broth in in time…

** If you want to use pork instead that is fine, but it’ll need to be cooked all the way thru first as it’s not gonna taste so good cooking from the simmer… hence beef is easier if you don’t have leftover pork roast or such on hand…

*** pretty much a hickory smoked one with a dry rub on it, so you can use regular and add more seasonings if you don’t have this… I just like that it’s smoked with the rub, need to get charlie’s to make it this way as their bacon would make a better base… [note to self: attempt to sweet talk the butcher into cajoling whoever smokes it]

**** but oddly this time it was truly a fluke as it was just a grab and bag… I only counted as I was chopping, but it brought a smile to my face… and I forgot to measure but I’m guessing this was in the neighborhood of 1 c… of course if you like okra feel free to use however much you want, personally I hate the stuff… but for me gumbo is not gumbo until it’s got that okra ooze in it (even if I do fish out the actual pieces)…



{August 26, 2008}   Meatball Sandwiches

Ok so I really didn’t want to make meatballs as getting the oldest to finish homework was draining so I skimped, you might as well bother making a regular meatball… but if you share my exhaustion these worked alright…

I served 4 meatballs per hoagie roll and topped with parm...

I served 4 meatballs per hoagie roll and topped with parm...

Meatball Sandwiches
1 lb ground beef (happened to be aged angus, probably how I got away with cutting corners as it started with good flavor)
1 T mrs dash tomato basil
1/2 T ea: s/p, garlic pwd, onion pwd
1/4 onion diced and sauteed with 2 cloves garlic
11 oz tomato puree (leftover from making tomato pie)
1 T: oregano
1/2 T: garlic pwd and onion pwd

mix first four, shape (I made 16, to use on 4 hoagie rolls) and brown on all sides… mix last three with 1/4 c water and pour over meatballs and allow to simmer until meatballs are cooked and sauce rethickened…

[PS. that’s these potatoes in the pic with it…]



{August 26, 2008}   Steak Au Poivre

Yep, you guessed it another hubby training wife night… but while I’m sure Mr. Chefypants would wax on about what level of doneness is ideal for this dish or some such. I want all my proteins well-done (except maybe nuts, I guess) so I wouldn’t have cared if he’d tried… but this time he really didn’t try to pitch me a hard and fast rule. I wonder what that means… I know I’m not in the doghouse so it’s not just freezing me out, but maybe he just knew this one was futile. (Recipe details contributed by the man o’ the house)

Oh and you can so do this, he “taught” me in between continually popping upstairs to hermit on the PC and phone for the fantasy draft…and yet it still got done. Despite me drinking and not knowing what I was really doing…so I feel it successfully demystified the whole thing for me (and I haven’t decided if I’m sad about that or not yet) as it’s really not as involved as it seemed.

Steak Au Poivre
2 Well marbled steaks, no more than 1 inch thick. (Strips are best)
2 Tbl peppercorns (you can mix colors) **
2 Tbl olive oil
3 Tbl Butter
3 Tbl red wine (I used a South African Cab that my wifey adores, but you can also use cognac for a more traditional flavor)
Salt to taste

Take the peppercorns and roughly crush then, either with a mortar and pestle or as I did, put them in a plastic bag and pound them with a meat mallet, (fun little stress reducer). Heat 1 Tbl of the olive oil in a saute pan. Salt both sides to taste. Place crushed peppercorns in a dish and coat the steaks on both sides pressing the peppercorns into the meat. Once oil is hot, add the steaks and cook on both sides approximately 4 minutes each for medium rare, longer for more well done (we used a thermometer for the well done one until it reached temp). Once done to your liking, remove steaks from pan and tent to keep warm. Add the wine to the pan and scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan and add the remaining oil and butter. Cook, stirring often until it reduces to a nice sauce. When sauce is done place steaks on a plate and drizzle sauce over top and serve.

** So yes I took pictures but they were sad, so I’m not posting them. And my only complaint was I think you should go ahead crush up more peppercorns, I felt a little chitnzy trying to spread them out… but once you are in the middle of things you and have a hot pan of oil you really don’t want to go back to the crushing so you chintz, it’s just what you do.



et cetera