March 21, 2017

Lamb and Root Vegetable Stew

Adapted from Food and Wine.

Snow storm in March? Stew it is.

NOTE: This makes a huggge batch. Good for freezing half for another day. Or halve the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4lb lamb stew meat (I used 2lb bone in, 2lb boneless)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 3/4 lb parsnips
  • 1 lb red potatoes*
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • 1 onion or 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ~1 tbs parsley
  • ~1 tbs tarragon
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt/pepper

*I prefer red potatoes for stews and braises. Holds their shape better. Russet is more mealy and better for mashing

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Salt and pepper meat.
  2. Heat large cast iron pot over medium heat. Once hot, add 1-2 tbs high smoking point oil. When oil is shimmering, toss and coat 1/4 of the meat in flour, then brown evenly on all sides, remove and set aside when done. Dredge and brown another quarter batch, etc, until complete. Do nOT crowd meat as this will steam it instead of sear! Remove meat and set aside.
  3. Add onions, celery, parsley, and tarragon and saute until just soft. 3min. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 1min. Salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 225F.
  5. Add veggies (carrots, parsnips, potatoes), mix and saute for 5 min. Salt generously. Return meat to pot. Add red wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Let alcohol boil off for 2-3min. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover and place in oven for 3 hours, stirring once an hour.
  6. Serve with crusty bread!
March 15, 2017

Beef Pot Pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion or shallots, diced
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tbs worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt/pepper
  • 3tbs AP flour
  • 1 15oz can beef broth
  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed (can take 30-40m)
  • 1 egg, beaten with a tsp of water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Thaw puff pastry. Use two packages if you wanna be fancy and attempt a weave for the crust.
  2. Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Heat large skillet over medium high, add a tbs oil or so and heat until shimmering. Saute beef until almost cooked through. A little pink is ok. Stirring as needed. Remove beef and set aside
  3. In remaining oil, add onions ad celery. Saute until just soft, ~2-3m. Add garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, caraway seeds and continue to saute, another minute or two, until fragrant.
  4. Add carrots, mushrooms, peas, tomato paste, and saute 7-8m or until carrots just start to soften (will still be a bit crunchy but outside will give way to pressure from a fork). Salt as needed.
  5. Stir beef back in. Stir in flour. Slowly stir in broth. Once mixture begins to thicken and bubble, turn heat down on low and simmer 20-30m.
  6. Preheat oven to 450F.
  7. Spoon beef into a large baking pan. Cut puff pastry into strips. Lay strips down on top of beef. Brush on egg mixture and place in oven. 30m or until crust becomes golden and poofy.

February 1, 2017

Butternut Squash and Apple Wild Rice with Pan Seared Duck

img_1627

If you prep your ingredients and make the rice ahead of time, this meal takes 15m to cook! I’m pretty proud of myself. Original recipe. Woot.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1.5 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup apples, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup butternut squash, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook rice: Rinse and add 2.75 cups water. Cover and let rice soak for 30+m. Bring to a boil then reduce to low simmer for 45m. Keep lid on and turn off heat, let rice steam for 10m. Set aside.
  2. Score duck breast skin on the diagonal, rotate 90deg and score again, cutting 3/4 through the skin (don’t cut all the way to the meat). Salt and pepper both sides.
  3. Place two skillets on the stove. Cast iron skillet and large frying pan next to it.
  4. Place duck skin down in the cold cast iron skillet and slowly/gradually bring heat up to medium high to render out the fat. Continue to cook duck, 7m. Set your clock.
  5. Heat frying pan on medium high. Pour a tsp or so of duck fat into frying pan.
  6. While duck cooks, add butternut squash, onions, celery to frying pan. Season with salt/pepper/tarragon/parsley. Stir frequently. ~5-7m or until squash is slightly softened. Add apples, cranberries, chicken stock, and cover, continue to cook ~5m.
  7. Turn duck after 7m. Continue to cook on other side 5m.
  8. Uncover squash, mix in vinegar, and mix in cooked rice. Salt to taste.
  9. Plate rice, top with duck.
February 1, 2017

Zucchini Fritters

Baby’s favorite finger food.

  • 1 grated zucchini, drained
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • coriander seed, smashed with side of knife
  • onion, minced
  • mix, form balls, flatten
  • fry in skillet.

Just getting it down somewhere so I don’t forget. Helps to just drop the balls of dough in the frying pan and flatten with the spatula. These suckers are sticky and get everywhere. Or chill the dough before forming balls.

February 1, 2017

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

IMG_0453.JPGCan easily tweak the recipe for dairy/egg/sugar free. Very moist and fluffy! I found it a bit too sweet. Perhaps I’ll cut the honey down to 1/3 cup next time.

Recipe credit goes to littlebroken.com! Beautiful food photography on this site.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey (consider 1/3 cup for less sweet)
  • 2 eggs OR for egg free: 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce with 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1.75 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Grease muffin pans with a bit of coconut oil.
  2. Mix coconut oil and honey. Whisk in eggs.
  3. Add banana, pumpkin puree, spices, baking soda, vanilla, salt
  4. Slowly add flour and mix until jUST combined. Fold in raisins.
  5. Spoon into muffin pans.
  6. Bake 5m at 425, reduce heat to 350, continue baking for ~17m or until toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
November 4, 2016

Vegan Apple Fritters

img_8288

These were delicious! Crispy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside. Everything a fritter should be. Mildly sweet and very autumn-y. AND they are egg, dairy, and sugar free. I know, I know… Alton Brown would be ASHAMED. But I made them as finger food for my 1 year old. (Holy shit I have a one year old?) Otherwise I’d add a sugary glaze. Even so, I snuck more than a few bites for myself.

I never thought I’d make ANYthing vegan. But I guess when you have a kid that’s allergic to milk and eggs….you learn to get creative. Like… did you know the butter to oil substitute is 1 to 3/4? And applesauce is a great binder when you’re not using eggs? Learning as I go.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ~1/2 cup of apples, chopped finely (pea size?)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4  tbs avocado oil (or another oil of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup soymilk
  • cinnamon
  • allspice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add as much of the chopped apple as you like. It’ll be a sticky mess. NOT like pancake batter.
  • Heat a cup or so of oil in a small sauce pot. An inch or so deep.
  • Drop golfball sized blobs of batter and fry, turning as needed, until golden brown.
  • Remove onto paper towel to drain.
  • EAT.

Had to make my own applesauce cause we ran out soooo this took me a lot longer than I thought it would. TIP: Get store bought applesauce.

img_8284

July 20, 2016

Baked Eggs with Lentils and Merguez

baked eggs1

Eggs for dinner? Suuurrre why not. I started making this in the morning, intending it for brunch. But it took until 7:30pm for me to complete it. Such is the life with a small human in the house.

NOTE: All measurements are approximate…taste your cooking as you go. Eyeball it. You don’t need to measure. 😀 Plus, aint nobody got time to wash measuring cups and sh*%.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 links of spicy merguez (lamb sausage)
  • ~1 cup red lentils, washed and drained (sift for stones!)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped*
  • 1/3 cup red or orange bell peppers diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • ~1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • pinch of sugar (to cut acidity of tomato paste)
  • ~1 cup chicken stock
  • Eggs

*I sliced on the diagonal, so it cooks faster. Red lentils tend to cook quickly. You don’t want crunchy sweet potatoes. This technique, I believe, is called “rolling wedges”. This is how I cut carrots, zucchinis, etc. Very useful.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Remove sausage from casing. Heat dutch oven on medium high until smoking hot. Add a tbs or two of oil (I always use avocado for its high smoke point and lack of flavor). When oil is shimmering, add sausage and break it up with the edge of your spatula. Remove and set aside once cooked through.
  2. In remaining oil from sausage, add onions, bell peppers, garlic. Salt generously. (Depending on saltiness of the chicken stock and tomato sauce you’re using, you may want to salt lightly.)  Add seasonings. Continue to saute ~5m or until onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add sweet potatoes. Continue to saute ~3m or so. Longer if you accidentally cut your potatoes too thick.
  4. Mix in tomato paste, tomato sauce, and chicken stock.
  5. Once tomato paste has dissolved, add lentils. Stir. Lentils should not be completely submerged. Add water/stock until it looks like ::this:: or a little drier.
  6. Bring to a slow boil. Turn heat to simmer, mix in sausage, and cover. Simmer for 20m or so until lentils are just soft. (I prefer al dente over soggy)
  7. Grease an 8” cast iron skillet (or if you have a deeper skillet you can use from beginning to end, no transfer is necessary) and spoon in lentil mixture. Using the back of a spoon, press down and create divots for the eggs. Crack an egg in each. Broil in the oven for 5m or so until eggs firm up to your liking.

baked eggs2

Tada! That’s it. Pretty easy to make, I just couldn’t get away long enough to chop veggies and tend to the stove until I put the little one to bed.

PS: I love my wooden spoon. Got it in Halifax this summer on our family trip. My dream (or one of many) is to start a wooden utensils collection. Does that make me weird?

Something so grounded and OG about using a wooden spoon.

And cast iron skillets.

And baked eggs.

July 6, 2016

We ❤️ Ube!

  
The offspring’s first taste of ube. I think he likes it. 

May 27, 2016

Miso Salmon

IMG_0804.jpgINGREDIENTS

  • 2 Salmon filets
  • 2 tbs white miso
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs rice wine or sake
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • optional garnishes: sesame seeds, sliced green onion

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Marinate salmon in miso mixture for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
  2. Line baking pan with aluminum foil and brush with oil. Scrape off most of the miso and place salmon on pan. Miso is super salty. Less is more.
  3. Broil on high for 8m or until edges just start to bubble. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Heat frying pan on high, add a tbs of oil, place salmon skin side down for 2 min or so to crisp up skin.
  5. Serve. (optional: top with sliced green onion)
May 20, 2016

Pan Seared Duck Breast + Duck Fat Potatoes

IMG_0782INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 duck breasts (~1 lb total)
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Score duck skin in a criss-cross pattern, cutting deep without hitting the meat.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides generously.
  3. In a COLD skillet (cast iron is great for searing), and NO oil, place duck skin down. Turn heat up to medium. Fry for 5-10 minutes (gradually turn heat up to medium high) until fat is mostly rendered and skin becomes golden brown.
  4. Flip and fry another 3-5 minutes or until meat is slightly bouncy like the fat pads in your palm. Set aside and let meat rest for 5 min before cutting!

Easy? You betcha. I was too lazy to make a sauce so I used store bought mango chutney. Delicious. If you have a good source of fresh duck, this could save you time and money over a restaurant meal! At $13 a pound, this meal only cost us $7-8 bucks a person. Including sides. Total prep and cook time, half an hour tops. AND we didn’t have to get a babysitter! Baby’s room is right behind the kitchen. I’m sure he’s dreaming of duck fatty goodness right now.

Save your duck fat! I kept mine in a glass jar next to the stove. So much you can do with it.

IMG_0781DUCK FAT POTATOES:

  1. To time this right, prepare your potatoes first. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Cut in halves or threes, salt generously, add herbs and seasonings. (I used parsley and rosemary and some whole garlic heads).
  3. Use the first drippings from the duck fat rendering and pour over potatoes. Return pan over heat and keep cooking the duck. Meanwhile, toss potatoes to coat evenly. Roast in oven for 20 min or so, until golden brown.

Happy eating!