Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Technique’ Category

I’m salivating thinking back on this meal (which was admittedly only a few hours ago). Well, I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Tender chunks of beef, slow-braised in a dark beer broth with lots of caramelized onions, shallots, and plenty of herbs. All that, plus tangy mustard and a whiff of wintery spice make this an easy dish to fall in love with.

If you like pot roast, boeuf bourguignon, or beef goulash, you will adore carbonnade. Don’t get me started on how good your house will smell while this simmers on the stove. Sit back and enjoy a glass of Belgian beer while you wait. Salut!

-1 lb. stewing beef, such as chuck roast (avoid pre-packaged stew meat, which tends to be gristly)
-1 Tbsp. flour
-1/2 lb. shallots, peeled and halved (about 5 med.)
-2 small onions, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
-1 Tbsp. butter
-olive oil, as needed
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 c. vegetable or beef broth
-1/2 pint (300ml) dark Belgian beer, such as Chimay Blue
-1 Tbsp. brown sugar
-3 bay leaves
-leaves of 4 fresh thyme sprigs
-handful of parsley, chopped
-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
-2 gingersnap cookies plus 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, or one piece Lebkuchen (German gingerbread)
-1 tsp. Dijon or spicy mustard
-salt and pepper, to taste

1. Trim and slice the beef into 1-in. cubes. Pat dry with paper towels (to ensure your meat browns, not steams). Sprinkle with the flour, salt, and pepper, and toss well to coat.

2. Heat half the butter and a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a deep, thick bottomed pot on medium-high until bubbly.


3. Add half the meat to the pot and allow one side to brown thoroughly.  Do not stir for several minutes until a dark crust forms.  Turn with tongs and brown the remaining sides.  Remove the seared meat to a bowl, leaving the oil behind.

4.  Add more olive oil (if needed) and the remaining beef to the pot. Brown and remove to the bowl.

5.  Add the remaining butter to the pan, reduce the heat, and add the shallots and onions.  Stir and shake regularly until softened, browned, and caramelized all over.  Take care not to burn.

Not there yet…

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Japanese curry kare tofu cutlets

Rumor has it that curry made its way from India to Japan during the colonial period via the British navy. There it morphed into a mild, savory-sweet roux-based sauce that’s the perfect counterpoint to a crispy piece of pork or tofu.  If you’re used to eating coconut-milk laden or incredibly spicy curries, Japanese curry is a refreshing change of pace.

Intrigued?

It’s dead easy to make, armed with a box of Japanese curry roux.

1.  Drain, slice, and season firm tofu with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. Put a pot of rice on to simmer.

tofu

2.  Coarsely chop and saute together carrots, potatos, onions, sweet potato, red bell pepper, and a bit of eggplant.*

IMG_1523

3.  Dredge seasoned tofu in flour.  Dip in beaten egg, then coat with panko (Japanese bread crumbs).  Season with salt.

Japanese panko bread crumbs

4. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil. Arrange cutlets evenly on sheet and begin baking. Occasionally rotate the pan, but do not flip the cutlets.
baking curry cutlets

(more…)

Read Full Post »

If you like lasagna, beef bolognese, or even Cincinnati chili, you’ll love this dish hailing from Greece.  Pastitsio is a layered casserole of tubular pasta tossed with hard cheese and topped off with meat sauce (spiced with cinnamon, clove, and oregano) and lightly browned bechamel sauce.  With so many delicious ingredients, how could it not be good?

img_02321

img_02441

img_0243

(more…)

Read Full Post »

grandma maroni's meatballs

Okay, okay, so technically this 100-year old recipe beat Bobby Flay in a “throwdown,” but “smackdown” just sounds so much better.  That guy can be a cocky S.O. …well, you know.  I haven’t tried them yet, but intend to soon—just as soon as I come up for air amidst all this wedding planning.  This week I’ll also be posting a cheesy, meaty, baked Greek pastitisio recipe that will rock your tastebuds, so please stand by.  Thanks!  In the meantime, here’s the recipe for champion meatballs from the Food Network:

(more…)

Read Full Post »

macaroni-and-cheese

Credit: Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times promises that of the 600 recipes it tests each year, only 400 make it to print.  Supposedly, you can be confident that their recipes will turn out right the first time (even serve them untested to company!), because the editors have already culled through the losers for you. 

I’m placing my blind faith in this promise by reprinting this recipe by Betty Hallock, which accompanied her story, “When Bad Mac Happens to Good People.”  She explains that cooking the bechamel for 30 min. deepens the flavor and really emulsifies the cheese sauce. (more…)

Read Full Post »

chocolate-pudding 

I love recipes that are handed down in families.  My friend, Stephanie, whips up a batch of this decadent chocolate pudding anytime she wants to pamper someone special.  The recipe came from her grandmother, who (as you’ll see by the end of the recipe, transcribed from her recipe card) is quite the funny lady. 

This is a little labor-intensive with all the stirring, but I like to think that earns the cook a second helping. 😉

(more…)

Read Full Post »

For you locals, there’s a fun event coming up with Top Chef Spike Mendelsohn @ 6th and I Synagogue.

Spike Up the Matzah

spike

Sunday, March 22, at 6:00 p.m.

“Matzah brei, matzah pizza, matzah mania! Chef Spike Mendelsohn dazzled us last December with his suave latke-making skills. Just in time for Passover, he’s back with recipes to rev up your matzah. Matzah Master Spike will offer an entertaining demonstration of how to create 10 tasty meals, snacks and treats with matzah. And who knows, maybe Spike’s mom will join him on stage again? The cost of the event is $9.”

Tickets are available on this website.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »