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Mama’s Autumn Stew

Mmm..stewSo autumn is definitely my favourite time of the year. Lovely root vegetables are in abundance and the cozy feeling of comfort food makes me all gushy inside.

This is the time of year for pickling, stewing, jam and jelly making and slow good food all from Mother Nature’s bounty!

I sometimes play around with different ingredients to create the rich flavours that this bounty deserves. This is a good example!

PS. I know some ingredients sound like..say what?? But trust me my chickadees, you’ll love it!

Mama’s Beef Stew

Ingredients to serve 4

1.5 lbs good quality stew beef or pork butt (even half half is nice)

Butter and olive oil for browning meat

3 medium potatoes

2 medium turnip

3 carrots

1 onion chopped

And any other root veggies you’d like to add such as sweet potatoes, yams or parsnips

3 c Homemade beef stock (or good quality organic beef broth)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dry thyme

This is where it gets weird!…

4 anchovy fillets in brine

2 T organic maple syrup

1 t pomegranate syrup (found in ethnic shops) or tamarind paste

1/4 c red wine (optional)

1/4 c cream or white gravy

White pepper, black pepper and salt to taste

Now let’s put it all together..

brown your meat in a Dutch oven or similar, add onion and sauté for a few minutes. Add stock, and stir well to bring up the goodies on the bottom of the pot. Add everything but the root veggies and cover. Slow cook for 1 hour until meat is starting to get very tender. Add the veggies and cook another 30 mins.

At the end I like to add a bit of cream to soften and bring the flavours together.

Thicken using either corn, rice or potato starch mixed with water first. Bring back to the boil to thicken and serve.

Try it, and let me know how you like it!

Gluten Free Gnocchi al Forno

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Gnocchi al Forno with Bolognese sauce
(Fluffy potato pillows baked with meat sauce)

worked for years perfecting my bolognese meat sauce for spaghetti. It’s my kids favorite meal. Today I decided to use it in a gluten free meal with potato dumplings called gnocchi. You can however use this sauce with any type of noodles, gluten free or not. 

Bolognese sauce

2T olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic mashed
Pinch of chili flakes (to taste, optional)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1lb ground beef, lean
1cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4c thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
1 can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
2/3 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup good red wine (optional)
1T oregano and basil each
Salt pepper to taste

Pasta
Gluten Free potato Gnocchi, or make it spaghetti noodles

1cup fresh grated cheese such as mozzarella or a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan 

This recipe depends on time to cook..the longer the better to meld the flavours!
Start by adding olive oil to a medium sized pot on medium high heat. Sauté the garlic, onion and chili flakes until translucent.
Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add ground beef to the pot and cook until no longer pink. Sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms get added next and sauté again for about 5-10 mins. Add herbs salt and pepper, red wine, tomatoes with liquid and tomato paste. Stir to incorporate and add the garlic and onions.
Cover and let simmer on low for at least 1 hour but preferably longer. If the sauce gets too thick as it’s cooking add more wine or water. The sauce should be fairly thick so as to cling well to yep the noodles.

Boil gnocchi until they float, drain and add the bolognese sauce stir to cover the noodles completely. Place into a oven proof bowl or pan. Sprinkle with cheese and broil on high approx. 5 mins until cheese is melts and slightly brown.

Serve immediately, serves 4 hungry eaters!Image

 

 

Pork Steaks with Chimmichurri sauce

Pork Steaks with Chimmichurri sauce

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Its not not often I cook pork, but I wanted to try my chimichurri sauce with different meats. So if you do not eat pork, feel free to use this delicious sauce, which is my own spin on the South American, standard with BBQ or grilled meats or fish.                                           Again of course my recipes are all taste tested and gluten free! Ole!

This sauce can be made quickly using a food processor or finely chop ingredients and add to medium bowl..

 

Parsley, curly  1 large bundle

3 large garlic cloves finely diced

1/2 med onion finely diced

chili flakes to taste (optional), or fresh chili seeds removed for more heat

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

red or white wine vinegar to taste

grayed rind of one lemon

2T lemon juice

sea salt and pepper to taste

Pulse or chop parsley finely and add all other ingredients blend to desired consistency, I like it a bit chunky. Play around with amounts of sourness or heat.

The longer you let it sit the better it tastes!

Serve with grilled meats or seafood.

Yield  approx 1 cup

 

 

 

Photo credit: let birds fly

 

Creamy Lemon Chicken Chowder-GF

Creamy Lemon Chicken Chowder-GF

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Lemon Chicken Chowder -Gluten Free

This recipe, dahlings you don’t have to be gluten free to love this, nutritious and easy. This one of my favorites and laughably simple to boot!

1 box organic low sodium chicken stock (or make homemade if you love extra steps! See side note*
1 head garlic yes I said one (if not baking, 4-5 cloves minced)
Pieces shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup short grain rice
1c frozen organic chopped spinach
Juice of 2 lemons or to taste (should be fairly tangy)
4 whole free run eggs
Salt pepper to taste.

Heat broth on low on the stove.
Prepare to bake your garlic..cut a 1/4 inch on the tip to expose most of the garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil, bake at 300 for 45 mins. Remove, cool for touch and squeeze the garlic whole, the cloves come out as a golden paste. Add this to your broth. *you can skip this step if you’re in a hurry and sauté raw garlic until soft and slightly gold add the broth to it from there..

Add rice and chicken cook on med low covered for approx 20 mins. Test to be sure rice is cooked before proceeding.
The only tricky part is this step. In a separate bowl crack the eggs and whisk until fluffy and yellow. Add while whisking the lemon juice very slowly so as not to curdle. After they are whisked fluffy again you need to temper the eggs. Add a ladle of the hot broth to the eggs and whisk, add 2 more ladies of broth whisking a peach time. Turn off the stove. Put the spinach in at this point.
Add the egg mixture to the broth and stir. Let it stay on the warm element for another 5 or so mins but remove if it starts to boil. This is when the magic happens and your soup turns into a lovely creamy rich lemon chowder.
Adjust seasoning and serve.
Reheating, if you do need to serve later it has to be slow with no boiling, so as not to serve a fancy omelette instead 😉

Serves 4

Side note: I love to make this after leftovers from my Greek lemon chicken dinner (see recipe in my blog). I use the carcass of the chicken and roast drippings to make my stock fresh. Shred up leftover chicken and add to the stock. The rest is all the same.

Cool men Eat Quiche!

Happy Season’s Greatings Possums!! It is my hope that you will all have a safe and wonderful 2013 filled with all your greatest desires..starting with FOOD!! ah hah!

I thought I would add one final recipe for you for 2012. Its a lovely thing, served as a brunch or luncheon. Best of all, its EASY!! You’ll look like you’re superwoman/man when you pull this one off!

So Quiche is so versatile, you really can put whatever you have in your fridge in it, use your imagination lovlies! I’m sharing one I did recently. I had some smoked salmon and feta already in the fridge, but you could do just about anything you have on hand..so here is my recipe!

Smoked Salmon and Feta Quiche

Smoked Salmon and Feta Quiche

Smoked Salmon and Feta Quiche

6 eggs, lightly whisked

1/4 cup Milk

1/2 c crumbled Feta cheese (I love Bulgarian Feta, its soft and creamy and not too salty)

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I use any white cheese on hand)

1 small red onion finely chopped

2 Tbsp capers

1 tsp dry or 1 Tbsp fresh Dill

rind of one lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 package ready to use puff pastry (defrosted and rolled to fit 10 inch pie plate)

Heat oven to 200 C or 400 F

Mix all ingredients, except puff pastry of course, in a large bowl. Pour mixture over pie plate covered with puff pastry. Bake in 400 degree oven until puffed and lightly brown. Don’t overcook!! The center can be just slightly wiggly, approx 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool and set, about 10 minutes. Serve with an herb salad with dressing of choice. I’m sitting here thinking if I should ramble on making it look much more difficult, but hmm, nope that’s it!!

Enjoy!!

Happy New Year to you all! Edwina

Brilliant Eggplant Parmigiana

Hello Dahlings! 
Sorry its been a bit since I posted a recipe last. Seems Edwina is a bit of a clutz and broke her foot! Cooking and hobbling around the kitchen are a bit of a struggle these days. As much as my passion for cooking allows me, I do still cook about once per week though. I hope you enjoy this simple but amazing comfort food recipe I’m posting for you today! If you’ve never had the opportunity to make or try Eggplant Parmigiana, and even if you say ick! to eggplant. I promise you this meatless dish will change your minds forever dahlings!
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch slices (no need to peel)
  • salt
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 4  ripe tomatoes,  chopped
  • Tomato sauce (you can also use your favorite pasta sauce here dahlings!)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c Fresh basil chopped
  • 1 T oregano dried
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella (buffalo milk if possible)
  • 3/4 c bread crumbs (can use gluten free as well)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • Pepper

First off you will need to prepare your eggplant. Its important when preparing eggplants that you attempt to remove as much water content as possible from them so they don’t absorb too much oil in the frying process. In order to do this, first wash and slice eggplant and lay on paper towels flat on a surface. Sprinkle generously with salt on both sides. Place another layer of paper towels on top of the eggplant slices and let sit for 30-45 mins or more with a tray on top for pressure. When you are ready to fry your eggplant, remove the paper towels. You will see the salt has made the water rise to the surface and remove excess moisture from them. C’est Voila Dahlings. You are ready to fry!

Fry eggplant in batches in olive oil until golden on both sides. Set aside again on paper towels to take away the excess oil.

Start on your pasta sauce:

Heat pot to medium high. Cut up tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil. Start with olive oil in the pan (just enough to cover the bottom. Place first your cut basil (if you did not have fresh, add dry later), garlic and onion to the pot. Stir until lucent, then add tomatoes and continue to stir until the tomatoes start to break down. Add tomato sauce to the pan with  herbs salt and pepper to taste.  Let this simmer for at least 30 mins until the sauce becomes thick and rich.

Putting it all together:

In a 8″-10″  square or round casserole dish with at least 2-3 inch depth, place first layer of eggplant side by side to fit in one layer on the bottom of the casserole. You will do at least 3 layers, so divide evenly. Now this is the important part dahlings. When you add tomato sauce on top of your eggplant, use it sparingly so that it doesn’t overtake the eggplants and make the dish watery. Just enough to basically cover with some of the eggplant showing through.  Sprinkle one at a time 1/3 of mozzerella, parmesan and bread crumbs, then begin your next layer and repeat until completed. Make sure the top has tomato sauce cheese and breadcrumbs.

Place into a 350 degree oven for 30 mins or until its all gooey bubbly and golden. Take the casserole out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes to settle. Cut and serve with a nice green salad and baguette.

I hope you will try this recipe and let me know what you think, dahlings. I promise you, your family, friends and even the pickiest of eaters won’t miss meat this time! Elegant enough to serve to your vegetarian friends, impress them beyond words that you would actually cook something amazing just for them, even though you really did cook it for yourself because its become your favorite meal to prepare and eat.

Serves 4-6

Bon appetito!

Coke Roast

Coke Roast

Helloooo Lads and Lasses! Edwina here again, did you miss me dahlings?

So today’s recipe is one of our favorites. I’m asked over and over again to share this one. So sit back,  read and drool! Okay, don’t drool, you may make your keyboard seize dahling.

Now this isn’t what you would call a conventional recipe, but so far I’ve never been known to be much of a conventionalist. Believe me, if you try this recipe, you’ll be uber loved by all you serve it to. They will think you slaved for days and really you still had time to paint your toenails (okay maybe not the men, unless that’s a fancy of yours!)

COKE ROAST (yes, I said COKE!)

3-4lbs Good quality Beef Roast (Rib or Prime Rib, don’t skimp!)

Rub ingredients 

1 tsp each salt and pepper

1 T paprika (sweet or smoked)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp thyme

1 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder

Worcheshire sauce (enough to cover roast)

2 cans of Coke (not imitation, do not substitute for low cal dahlings)

1 pkg good quality brown gravy mix (I’m not Martha!)

1/3-1/2 c cream

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

First off rub the worcheshire sauce over the whole roast. Mix all dry herbs together to make dry rub. Pat generously all over the meat.

Place the roast into roasting pan with no higher than 3 inch sides (or else you boil the meat rather than a good crust).

Roast the beef for 30 mins at high temp, then lower the temp to 350 F. When you lower the temp, take the roast out and

pour the Coke around the meat. Make sure there is enough to cover the bottom of the pan fully.

Note: If the coke dries out during cooking, add more if needed.

Place the roast back into the oven and cook until medium rare. I always depend on my thermometer to help with this part!

Once the beef is cooked, remove to cutting board and ‘tent’ it with foil to rest and set the juices.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, add package of dark gravy mix. Strain juices and I like to use a separator to remove unwanted fat from the gravy. Add to the sauce pan, cook on medium until gravy thickens. If there is not enough dahlings, you can add water because the gravy is quite concentrated. Now add to taste cream to meld the flavours and lighten the gravy.

Carve roast into thin slices. Serve with mashed potatoes and Yorkshire puddings and veggie of your taste.

That’s it! Wasn’t that just so simple?

PS. Typically on a rib roast 1 bone counts for 2 servings, if this is a 3 bone rib roast, then it will serve 6.