This blog is for EVERYONE who likes to cook, but especially for BEGINNERS and INEXPERIENCED cooks. Posts happen three (3) days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Over 600 recipes so far including GLUTEN-FREE. Enjoy and spread the word.
(14 oz.) can Beef Broth (low-sodium if possible)
tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
cloves, Fresh Garlic, minced
whole Bay leaves
tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
a 4 quart slow cooker or larger, place meat in the pot.In a small bowl, mix the crushed caraway
seeds, paprika, salt and pepper.Sprinkle mixture over the meat and toss to coat.Next layer the onion followed by red pepper.In a medium sauce pan, mix the tomatoes,
broth, Worcestershire sauce and garlic and bring to a simmer.Pour this mixture over the ingredients in the
slow cooker.Place the bay leaves on
top, cover and cook on low for 7½ hours or so.Discard bay leaves and skim any fat you can off the top of mixture in
slow cooker.Combine the corn starch and
water and then add to the mixture in slow cooker.Turn heat up to high, mix well and cook
another 15 minutes or until sauce has thickened.Serve over noodles in bowls and top with a little
chopped fresh parsley.
Note:Stew meat, chuck
or some steak cut of your choice will work in this recipe.I like to use chuck or top sirloin when I
dish is best served over noodles.The
most common are egg noodles.But if you’re
looking to change it up a bit.You might
try serving over potato gnocchi or even spaetzle.
a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high.Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper
and place in pot.Brown chicken on all
sides (5-7 minutes) and then remove to a plate.Next add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic to pot.Cook until vegetables have softened (5-7
minutes) stirring often.Add back the
chicken along with the chicken broth.Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook another 30 minutes.Remove chicken again and let cool.Continue to simmer liquid in pot.When cooled, remove skin and bones from
chicken pieces.Now chop or shredded
chicken and return it to the pot.In a
medium bowl, combine ½ cup of flour, salt and pepper with 2 cups of cold water.Slowly stir this mixture into the mixture in
the pot.Continue to stir while the liquid
thickens (8-10 minutes). In another
medium sized bowl, combine 2 cups flour with the baking powder, baking soda,
salt and pepper.Now slowly whisk in the
butter and then the buttermilk.Using a
large spoon, drop 8 to 12 spoonful’s on top of the chicken mixture, reduce heat
to low, cover with the lid and simmer about 15 minutes or until dumplings are
done. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley as
you serve this dish.
We're just over a month into the fall season and "Hearty Comfort Food" is sounding really good. It's funny how we naturally gravitate to heartier foods as the weather cools. I don't know for fact, but it seems we act similar to other mammals in the animal kingdom. Many of them put on weight and hibernate through the winter season. We don't hibernate but we do seem to put on weight at this time of the year.
It would be my guess that humans in the northern hemisphere put on a higher percentage of weight in October, November and December than any other time of year. I believe it starts with the cooler weather and then continues through the holiday seasons ending with the calendar year.
I know the cold weather continues in January and February but so does all those "New Year Resolutions" to lose weight. That helps offset the weight gain of those not dieting.
I'll go back to what "All" my dietitians said when they worked for me in the food business. It's alright to eat of little of everything but to do it in moderation. That "Moderation" helps us to enjoy the great hearty comfort foods of the fall and winter but also keeps us from packing on a few more pounds.
Now I'm not trying to scare you. I want all of you to enjoy the flavorful dishes of the season. But be sensible about it. I don't push "Healthy Type Food" because I believe you can enjoy it all within reason. I feature many healthy recipes on this food blog and in my cookbook. I don't believe you have to you have to substitute other "so called healthier" ingredients and give up the better flavor of a dish. You can of course and many do. But that is a decision you have to make on your own.
Enough pontificating, let's talk hearty fall and winter dishes. This week I offer two of my favorite. The Wednesday recipe is for "Chicken & Dumplings" using bone-in breasts or thighs. You can just use a cut-up whole chicken if desired. Everyone has a preference for what they like and mine happens to be the white-meat when it comes to chicken (and turkey). That's why I use bone-in breasts.
Thursday's recipe is for "Hungarian Goulash" which is made with pieces of beef meat and usually served over noodles. That makes it different from what many of us in the states know as "Goulash" which has ground beef and macaroni as it's main ingredients.
I believe you will enjoy both of these dishes. There are many more hearty fall/winter dishes. Please check the recipe tabs above to find other recipes to try this year. My cookbook, "More Than Your First Cookbook" has a dozen or more as well. One of my favorites from the cookbook is "Spanish Rice (My Way)" which uses ground beef and bacon for a unique flavor.
Enjoy this week's recipes or one of the others and "Happy Cooking" until next week.
a large bowl, toss together the filling ingredients (raw) and set aside.Flour a flat surface, divide pastry into 4
equal portions and roll out into a circular shape to about a ¼ inch
thickness.Spoon filling into ½ of the
circle, leaving room to crimp edges of pastry together.Season filling with some salt and pepper, add
a couple pats of butter and sprinkle with a bit of flour.Moisten edges of pastry with some water, add
fold the pastry over to cover the filling.Press firmly to seal, roll edges upward and crimp to form a tight
seal.Brush pasty with some egg wash or
milk.Cut a one inch slit in the top to
vent pastry while cooking.Place
pastries on a greased baking sheet and place in a pre-heated 425 degree oven
for 20 minutes.Then turn oven down to
325 degrees and bake an additional 40 minutes.If they start browning too quickly, loosely cover with a bit of
foil.Let pastries rest for 15 minutes before
cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature), cut into pieces
water to mix
the 2 fats into the flour until it resembles a coarse grain.Add the salt and then start adding the water
gradually until it works together into a ball without being sticky.Knead lightly and put aside in a cool place.
Note:The amount of
water will vary for a variety of reasons.You’ll just have to play with it.Just add slowly until it is not sticky.
I thought since doing a blog on Mexican sandwiches (Tortas) a few weeks back, that maybe I should cover another type of sandwich not from the USA.
Every country seems to have their own style of a sandwich. The sandwich is popular around the world because it is easy and convenient to eat. You just pick it up with your hands and eat. It is very portable and great at sporting events. The sandwich can be go a bit on the messy side but most sold at sporting events and by street venders tend to stay away from those type of sandwiches.
Sandwiches seem to be unique to countries. Some may seem to have been even been copied or adjusted by different countries. The "British Pasty" in England is similar to the Calzone of Italy in looks. But the dough and fillings are quite different.
In England, the "British Pasty" as it is also known, dates back to the time of Henry III (13th century). They usually were made with whatever food was available. In the early days, venison was the meat of choice. Today, skirt steak is that meat of choice for many in England. Although the sandwich shops in England make all varieties on this sandwich today.
The "Cornish Patsy" or "Meat Pie" has been protected by the European Commission with a "Protected Geographical Indication" and has to be made in the shape of a "D" and crimped on the side. Other makers of "Patsy" sandwiches throughout Britain have complained about this as unfair.
I had one of these sandwiches a few years back when in London with some family members. I thought they were a great sandwich to eat as we walked about sightseeing. If you have a chance to visit Great Britain someday, I suggest you try one of these classic sandwiches.
This week I'm giving you the recipe "Pastry for a Meat Pie" on Wednesday so you will be able to make your own sandwich from Britain. On Thursday, the recipe is for a traditional "Cornish Meat Pie" that uses the pastry from Wednesday. Again, remember that you can always create your own filling for the pie.
Please give it a try and let me know how it turned out for you. Until next week, "Happy Cooking" and please share my food blog with others.
tortillas in half and stack.Then cut
into strips about ¾ inch wide.Using a
heavy skillet, fill with oil to about ½ inch or so and heat over medium-high
heat.In small batches, fry tortillas
until crisp and golden brown.Remove
carefully onto paper towels and set aside.Now using a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, bring tablespoon of oil to
temperature and add the onion and garlic.Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.Onions should be soft and translucent and garlic must not brown or burn.Chop tomatoes and add to the onion
mixture.Pour in the chicken broth/stock
and bring to a boil.Lower heat and
simmer for 10 minutes.Chop cilantro
leaves and add to soup.Set some aside
to use as a garnish.Taste the soup and
adjust taste with salt and pepper.Divide fried tortillas pieces among soup bowls and ladle soup into
them.Garnish with remaining cilantro
medium-low heat, warm the oil in a large sauce pan.Add the onion and sauté for about 10 minutes
or until translucent and soft.While
onion is cooking, dice the equivalent of 1 pepper into ½ pieces.When onions are ready, add the diced red
pepper and corn to pan.Increase heat to
medium and continue sautéing another 5 minutes.Remove pan from heat and spoon mixture into a food processor or
blender.Add the chicken broth/stock and
process until smooth.Do in batches if
necessary.Return pureed mixture to pan
and reheat.Stir in cream, taste and adjust
seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.Take the second red pepper and cut into thin strips.Add half to the sauce pan and combine.Serve in bowls and garnish with remaining red
Note:You could use
fresh red peppers.You will just need to
use the process to roast the peppers to remove the skins.Be sure to remove seeds and core before
dicing and cutting into strips.
you want to add a little spice, try adding some finely diced hot peppers of
choice or use some spicy ground dry chiles.
One usually doesn't think of "Soups" when they think of Mexican Cuisine. But they are very popular throughout the country.
People do think of "Chili" or "Chili con Carne" when thoughts go to Mexico. But in truth, they didn't create them. These dishes were actually part of the Tex/Mex food experience. This started out because there was so much beef in Texas and the Southwest. The original "Chili" was just cooked beef seasoned with chili powder. It developed into what we have today throughout the USA and Mexico. Other counties also have their form of chili too.
But we're talking soups today and chili will be covered at another time in my blog.
Most people when they think of Mexican food, think spicy. But, in fact, many of the dishes of Mexico are not spicy. This is very true when it comes to soups.
The different influences on Mexican food all took what was handy for food product and made the best of it in their dishes. This week my recipes for soup are made using two major items, corn and tortillas. Neither of the recipes are spicy but do taste delicious. Wednesday's recipe is for a simple "Corn Soup" and can be made year round using fresh or frozen corn. On Thursday, the recipe is for a "Tortilla Soup" that has a thinner broth.
I'm not going into a lot on Mexican soups because soups are soups. I've covered soups before and the basics are pretty much the same in any country. What I wanted to point out is there are many good soups to try with Mexican origins.
So give them a try. Make adjustments to your flavor profile. But with fall here and winter coming, you just might want something new to warm you up at a meal. Soup is a good dish to do it.
Until next week, "Happy Cooking" and please share my food blog with friends and family.
a large, sturdy resealable plastic bag, combine the cilantro, orange and lime
juices, garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper.Add the pork shoulder, seal the bag and turn
to coat.Transfer the bag to a large
baking dish and refrigerate overnight, turning the bag once or twice.Remove the pork from the marinade and scape
off the garlic and herbs; discard the marinade.Season the pork all over with salt and pepper and transfer to a large
enameled cast-iron casserole.Let stand
at room temperature for 1 hour.Place
pork fat side up and roast for 1 hour in a pre-heated 400 degree oven, until
lightly browned.Reduce oven to
temperature to 300 degrees and roast for 4 hours longer, until the pork is very
tender and the fat cap is crispy; transfer to a carving board and let rest for
30 minutes.Remove fat cap and chop into
bite-size pieces.Using 2 forks,
shredded the remaining pork.Place
pulled pork on a serving dish and garnish with the crispy cap pieces.Serve with lime wedges.
needed condiments for sandwiches (your favorite)
a medium mixing bowl, combine the first seven ingredients.Generously rub the pork butt all over with
seasoning and double wrap in plastic wrap.Refrigerate overnight for best results but at least one hour.Remove plastic wrap and place in a large
Dutch oven or roasting pan fat side up.Now put in a 275 degree pre-heated oven for 8 to 9 hours or an internal
temperature of 190 degrees.Let rest in
pan for 30 to 60 minutes tented loosely with foil.Using two forks, shred the pork right in the
pan and toss in the juices from cooking.Serve with buns or bread, barbeque sauce, hot pickle slices and slaw if
"Pulled Pork" is a dish everyone loves. This is very interesting because there isn't just one pulled pork recipe that everyone uses. No, there are hundreds of different recipe for making pulled pork.
It can depend on what part of the country you live in, as the South does it different then say the Northeast. There is even differences between countries. Mexico and Cuba do it different from each other as well as the USA. But I've got to say, I haven't tasted a pulled pork that I haven't liked yet.
Some are mild while others can get quite spicy. Some are done with dry rubs while others are done with wet rubs or marinades. Most are done with ingredients, spices or herbs native to their area, but not always. There are people who like to use a bone-in to a boneless piece of pork. Some will only use a particular cut of pork when making their pulled pork.
But "Low & Slow" is what everyone does to make it tender, juicy and easy to pull apart. You'll find temperatures ranging from 225 to 300 degrees for the oven. Some may start or end with a higher temperature to create an outer crust too. As far as time goes, about an hour per pound seems to be the norm. But that does vary because of the temperature used in the cooking process.
The best equipment for cooking your pulled pork in is an enameled cast-iron casserole. But if you don't have one, just use a good roasting pan. Whatever you use, make sure you have a good lid too. Again, not all but most recipes call for a lid to use during the cooking process.
This week I have two great recipes for you to try. Tomorrow's is my personal favorite. It's called "Best Pulled Pork I've Tasted" and uses a bone-in pork butt and a dry rub. It also has a little bit of a spiciness to it as it calls for "Ground Cayenne Pepper" in the rub. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of it which in my option makes it just a mild spicy. Remember you can always adjust ingredients to meet your personal taste requirements. So have fun with all recipes this way.
On Thursday, I have a recipe for "Garlic Pulled Pork" and it goes the other way. It uses a boneless piece of pork and a wet rub. It's also a Puerto Rican recipe but does not use anything to make it spicy.
The two recipes help showcase what I have said above about all the different ways to make pulled pork. Be sure to try them as I'm sure you will love both.
Another bit of help on pulled pork. A pulled pork recipe makes a lot of product to eat. Don't back off because you think it is too much food for you. What I do is portion the remaining pulled pork from a meal into 1 pound zip-lock freezer bags, mark with necessary info and freeze for later use. It works quite well for my wife and I.
Remember to thaw in the refrigerator and then warm up in a low (300 degree) oven or use the microwave.
Well I hope you have enjoyed today's comments and "Happy Cooking" until next week.
lb. Brussels Sprouts, halved & sliced ¼ inch thick
needed Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
large Fresh Eggs
tbsp. Whole Milk
tsp. Kosher Salt
tsp. Black Pepper
cup Gruyere Cheese, shredded
cup Fresh Chives, snipped
a 12-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat.Stir occasionally until softened for 3-5 minutes.Add the shallots and cook again until
softened, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.Add the Brussels sprouts, season with salt
and pepper and cook until tender-crisp and lightly browned, tossing
occasionally for about 5 minutes.While
doing this also beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl.Stir in the cheese and chives.Carefully pour mixture into skillet and cook
over medium heat, stirring gently, until eggs start to set and bottom is
lightly browned, about 5 minutes.Transfer skillet to a preheated broiler with rack set 6 inches from
heat.Broil for about 3 minutes or until
the center is just set.Run a rubber
spatula around the edge of frittata and slide onto a serving plate.Cut into 6 pieces and serve.
Note:You can sub
Swiss cheese for the Gruyere to save a little money.But do use a good Swiss cheese.
frittata can stand at room temperature for up to an hour before serving.
a small bowl, whisk together the oil and juice until combined.Season with salt and pepper to taste and set
aside.Using a small paring knife,
remove outer leaves and core the Brussels sprouts.Place the remaining leaves in a large pot of
boiling water for 1 minute.Drain and put
into a bowl of ice water.Then transfer
to a colander to drain.In a large bowl,
combine the sprout leaves, arugula, endive and almonds with the dressing.Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.
Note:To toast the
almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until
lightly toasted, about 6-8 minutes.Cool
completely before using.
you can’t find Pecorino Romano cheese, then sub grated parmesan cheese.