Saturday, July 26, 2014

Relaise Sauce for Entrecote Steak

Entrecote Steak with Relaise Sauce
Entrecôte translated is the French word meaning "between the ribs" referring to the premium sirloin steak.  It is served cut in narrow slices and topped with a "secret" sauce.  A Parisienne restaurant made this dish famous.

Each restauranteur claims his sauce is a secret sauce.  I first was served this dish in Geneva Switzerland.  It was a surprise to me that a dish touted as being very special is served with french fries.  Simply put, that is it.  Servers circulate the restaurant and will replenish your pomme frites or entrecôte  steak . 

Earlier this week, my daughter and I found a restaurant in New York City which served the dinner.  I googled the recipe for the sauce.  We both agreed that neither could detect the taste of garlic in the sauce we were served. 

Secret French Steak Sauce


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons mustard
1 bunch tarragon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt


Peel and slice the shallots.  Peel and roughly chop the garlic.  Add the olive oil to a small pot over medium heat.  Add the garlic and shallots and cook until soft and slightly colored.  Add the chicken stock. Simmer for three minutes.

Pull the tarragon leaves off of the stems and put them in a blender.  Add the remaining ingredients to the blender.  Carefully pour the chicken stock mixture into the blender.  Puree until completely smooth.
Pour back into the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute. If the sauce is too thin simmer for a few more minutes.

Pour over slices of medium rare (or as you like it) strip steak or your choice of steak. Serve with potatoes or of course Pomme Frites!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Eggs Fresh?

Are Your Eggs Fresh

This is a simple test to determine the freshness of your eggs.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blueberry Compote

Blueberry Compote
Sauce for Pork Roast
1 yellow onion
1 cup blueberries
Grated fresh ginger
Hot sauce
Black pepper
Ground cumin
Saute onion in a bit of butter.  Add 1 cup blueberries, a bit of grated fresh ginger, and a splash of hot sauce.  Simmer until the blueberries pop, reduce and begin to thicken.  Season with ample black pepper, a pinch of salt, and ground cumin.  Spoon over grilled pork chops or pork tenderloin.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grain Salad With Blueberries

Grain Salad With Blueberries
Quinoa or farro
Fresh Blueberries
Diced cucumbers
Fresh mint
Minced red onion
Lemon vinaigrette
Slivered almonds
* Note  Always rinse quinoa first before cooking with cold water.  It has a coating which should be removed before cooking which also affects the flavor.  I also found a perfectly cooked quinoa can be made in the microwave.  1 cup of water to 3/4 cup quinoa in a covered container for 9 minutes.  Perfctly cooked!
Directions: Cook quinoa or farro according to directions and cool.       Dice cucumber, chop fresh mint, and mince red onion.  Toss to mix well.  Add fresh blueberries and toss.  Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette and top with slivered almonds. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blueberry Vinaigrette

Blueberry Vinaigrette
Olive oil
Balsamic or red wine vinegar 
Salt and Pepper
using a 3:1 ratio blend vinegar and oil.
Add a handful of blueberries to a blender with vinegar and oil as well as salt and pepper.  Blend until mostly smooth.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blueberry Cheese Topper

Blueberry Cheese Topper
Today I decided to post another blueberry recipe from a news article.  This is an attractive way to serve an appetizer.
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
Dash of hot sauce
Round of brie cheese
Baguette slices or crackers
Simmer the blueberries with sugar and dash of hot sauce.  When the blueberries have broken down and thickened, pour over the cheese and serve.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ten Ways With Fresh Blueberries

Ten Ways With Fresh Blueberries 
I read this recipe in the newspaper today that really sparked my interest due to my fondness of fresh blueberries.  It is a recipe for Blueberry Salsa.  Now that sounds GREAT to me!  All ten ways were simple and easy.  This is a recipe I definitely will make use of having.
Blueberry Salsa
In a food processor, finely mince 1 red onion, 
1 jalopena pepper and 
a handful of fresh cilantro.  
Add one cup fresh blueberries, 
a splash of olive oil, 
the juice of 1/2 lemon (or more to taste), 

Pulse until the blueberries are just chopped, then season with salt and pepper.  Serve with Blue Corn Chips.

Here is the list of the other nine ways to enjoy fresh blueberries.

  1. Vinaigrette
  2. Sweet and chilly snack
  3. Compote
  4. Creamed
  5. Cordial
  6. Garden Salad
  7. Grain salad
  8. Cornbread
  9. Cheese topper

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Being GREEN or Eco Friendly

This is an article that I found in March honoring Earth Day.  I believe every person should live with the idea that every day is earth day.  We all need to help preserve the wonderful gifts Mother Nature has bestowed on us and save our world for future generations.  Hopefully we will all make room for a new practice or two.

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd share some interesting/cool links I've seen over the past few months. I created a fictional nonprofit program for a course with a few really bright ladies - our focus was creating workshops where people in the community could dialogue about green living ideas, tips, and facts. In evaluating the reasons for potential funders to adopt such a program, we had to find some evidence of need. I've come across a lot of great stuff lately - while the 'green' movement is picking up somewhat and attitudes are changing, we found that actions are much harder to change. I believe it... my bags have been sitting in my study for 3 weeks waiting to be recycled. Eco-guilt is on the rise, and community accountability can help us to make changes and kick the guilt. Some thoughts:
  • From a recent google buzz - Most plastic bags take over 400 years to biodegrade. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistaken them for food.
  • If each U.S. home replaced just one of its incandescent bulbs with a CFL, the electricity saved each year could light 3 million homesand prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of 800,000 cars. 
  • Apartment Therapy is an interesting site with eco-friendly tips for apartment-dwellers. Sometimes it feels like a lot of 'green' decisions are made by homeowners only (energy-efficient appliances, gardening and planting trees, etc.), but there is a lot that renters can do as well! We can control our use of utilities, recycle, and even plant indoor gardens!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beef Tenderloin With Shallots And Figs


I shared earlier that I had planted a Black Mission Fig Tree in my back yard in CA.  I was first introduced to fresh figs by our son-in-law on my first visit to Milano, Italy.  It has been a favorite fruit since.

The beef tenderloin is slow-roasted to ensure tenderness. To coarsely crack peppercorns, use a mortar and pestle or place peppercorns in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin.

¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp red peppercorns, coarsely cracked
1 tbsp green peppercorns, coarsely cracked
1 tsp sea salt
2 lbs premium beef tenderloin roast; tied, centre cut
6 whole ripe fresh figs, cut in half
18 small whole shallots, peeled (10 oz)
1 cup ruby port
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced, about 8 sprigs
¼ cup unsalted butter, cold
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Rub 1 tbsp olive oil, cracked pepper and salt over tenderloin.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in an ovenproof medium-size skillet on high heat. Sear tenderloin on all sides, about 1 minute per side.

Transfer tenderloin to plate and tent with foil.

In the same skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil and sear fig halves for 2 minutes per side, or until caramelized. Remove and reserve with tenderloin.

In the same skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil and shallots and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft.

Add port, balsamic vinegar and thyme and bring liquid to a boil.

Place tenderloin on top of the shallots and place figs around the tenderloin. Bake on middle rack in oven for 50 to 65 minutes or until desired doneness. For medium-rare, bring internal temperature to approximately 140ºF; or medium, 160ºF.

Remove tenderloin and figs and tent with foil. Reserve.

Bring remaining sauce to a boil and reduce to ½ cup.

Whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut tenderloin into 6 pieces, plate with figs and shallots and spoon sauce over tenderloin. Serves 4 to 6

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1 broiler/fryer chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, cut up
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

Preheat oven to 350^.  In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add onion; cook and stir until tender.  Sprinkle chicken with paprika, salt and pepper;  place in an ungreased roasting pan.  Spooon onion mixture over chicken.  Add water.  Bake covered, 1-1/2 hours or until chicken juices run clear.

Remove chicken and keep warm.  Pour drippings and loosened bits from roasting pan into a saucepan.  Skim fat.  In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth.  Stir into pan juices with onion.   Bring to a boil;  cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat.  Stir in sour cream.  Serve with chicken.           Yield 6 servings.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn Salad
This a recipe from the blogger Rose Water and Orange Blossom.  I shared in an earlier post that our daughter Barbara was chosen to proof many of the recipes Maureen Abood included in her new Lebanese cookbook which is being published.  Her recipes are made with fresh ingredients and are not only healthy but tasty.

5 to 8 ears of corn, shucked
1/4 cup olive oil for brushing and dressing
Big handful chopped mint, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Juice of 1 lemon
Big pinch sea salt
Freshly ground b
lack pepper

Grill the corn over high heat which has been rubbed all over with olive oil to prevent drying out and seasoned with salt and pepper. Cool slightly and cut kernels from the cobs. 
Combine corn kernels, feta cheese, onion and mint in a bowl and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve immediately or later or tomorrow. 
Salad can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator if the refrigerator is full.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cucumber-Mint Salad With Creamy Lemon And Greek Yogurt Vinaigrette

Cucumber-Mint Salad with Creamy 
Lemon And Greek Yogurt Vinaigrette
A simple salad of cucumbers and fresh spearmint comes together perfectly with a lemony, creamy vinaigrette made from Greek yogurt.


Vinaigrette¼ cup extra-virgin olive oilZest of one medium lemon
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice3 Tbsp Greek yogurt2 Tbsp minced shallots1 tsp brown sugar½ tsp Dijon mustard½ tsp kosher or sea saltFresh cracked black pepper, to taste


3 medium cucumbers, sliced (about 4 cups) 
¼ chopped spearmint 
Kosher or sea salt, if necessary 


In a bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.
Pat the cucumber slices dry between paper towels. Combine with the mint in a large bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette and season with additional salt, if desired. Serve chilled.
MAKE AHEAD: The vinaigrette can be prepared one to two days in advance.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Farro Salad With Blue Cheese, Pine Nuts, Tomatoes and Cucumber

Farro is a grain commonly eaten in European Countries.  It is boiled and combined with cheese and vegetables and served cold as a salad and in cooler weather faro is served cooked as in a rosotto, soups and winter comfort foods.  It looks much like a plump grain of wheat.  Vegetarians incorporate the grain in their diet for its nutritional value.

  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Salad:
  • 10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 medium clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 small seedless cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced, fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced, fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
  • 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Vinaigrette: Whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Reserve.

For the Salad: Place farro and water in a medium saucepan with onion, garlic, carrot, and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until farro is just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, discard onion, garlic, and carrot and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Gently fold remaining salad ingredients into cooled farro. Add vinaigrette, starting with a few tablespoons at a time. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and add additional vinaigrette as needed. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ Glaze On Corn Maque Choux

This is another recipe from Phillis Carey my favorite instructor at Great News Cooking School.  Phillis offers great recipes that sound so gourmet but actually are created with simple ingredients and sometime combinations one wouldn't expect.  They always finish with great taste.
3 T. unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup fresh orange juice 

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 
1/2 cup bourbon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pork tenderloins (about 3 lbs.)
Serves 4 to 5.

1 T. grapeseed or vegetable oil

4 slices thick bacon, diced
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1. For Glaze, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup, orange juice, vinegar, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Cool slightly and then puree until smooth. Remove half the sauce to serve with the pork.

2. Preheat grill. Trim pork tenderloins of all fat and silverskin. Butterfly the tenderloins by slicing lengthwise down the center to within 1/2 inch of the bottom—do not cut all the way through. Season pork with salt and pepper and brush with oil. Set tenderloins on the grill, cut side down and cook, covered, for 7 minutes. Turn pork over and brush with some of the remaining sauce; continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Brush pork with more sauce and turn over and brush with sauce again. Do this several times or until the pork is well glazed and the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Let pork rest on a carving board for 5 minutes or so before slicing on a diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices.

3. Meanwhile, to make the Maque choux, cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat until crisp; pour off all but 1 T. drippings leaving the bacon in the pan. Add bell pepper, and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and cook, stirring to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the corn, cream, and Tabasco. Simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the green onions.

4. To serve, spoon the corn onto serving plates and top with pork slices. Drizzle with some of the reserved sauce and serve, passing the remaining sauce. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

45 Uses For Vinegar

45 Uses for Vinegar

1. Freshen up the fridge. Clean the shelves and walls with a solution of half water and half vinegar.

2. Brighten coffee cups and teacups. Gently scrub stains with equal parts vinegar and salt (or baking soda).

3. Eliminate odors. Swab plastic containers with a cloth dampened with vinegar.

4. Kill bathroom germs. Spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

5. Save a garment. To remove light scorch marks on fabrics, rub gently with vinegar. Wipe with a clean cloth. This technique also works on antiperspirant stains.

6. Tidy up a toilet. Pour a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar into the bowl. Let sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with a toilet brush and flush.

7. Lose the carpet stain. Make a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup salt or baking soda. Rub into the stain and let dry. Vacuum the residue the next day. (Always test an out-of-sight part of the carpet first.)

8. Renew paint brushes. To remove old paint, place brushes in a pot with vinegar. Soak for an hour, then turn on the stove and bring the vinegar to a simmer. Drain and rinse clean.

9. Wipe off a dirty faucet. To get rid of lime buildup, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.

10. Stop static cling. Add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to your wash cycle. The acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes.

11. Make old socks look new. Get the stains out of old socks and sweaty gym clothes by soaking them in a vinegar solution. Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring to a boil and drop in the stained clothes. Let them soak overnight, and in the morning stained clothes are fresh and bright.

12. Restore handbags and shoes. Wipe white distilled vinegar on scuffed leather bags and shoes. It will restore their shine and help hide the marks.

13. Banish weeds. Pour white distilled vinegar on the weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway and driveway. Saturate the plant so the vinegar reaches the roots.

14. Liven droopy flowers. Don’t throw out cut flowers once they start to wilt. Instead, add two tablespoons of white vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar to a quart of water. Pour the solution into your vase, and the flowers will perk up.

15. Put an end to itching. Dab a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar on mosquito bites and insect stings. It will stop them from itching and help disinfect the area so they heal faster.

16. Whiten your teeth. Brush your teeth once a week with white distilled vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush thoroughly. It will help prevent bad breath, too.

17. Make nail polish last longer. Before you apply your favorite polish, wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in white distilled vinegar. The clean surface will help your manicure last.

18. Keep car windows frost-free. Prevent windows from frosting over in a storm by coating them with a solution of three parts white distilled vinegar to one part water. The acidity hinders ice, so you won’t have to wake up early to scrape off your car.

19. Let your dog shine. Spray your dog with one cup white distilled vinegar mixed with one quart water. The solution is a cheap alternative to expensive pet-care products, plus the vinegar will help repel pests like fleas and ticks.

20. Battle litter-box odor. Cat litter can leave behind an unwelcome smell. Eliminate it by pouring a half-inch of white distilled vinegar into the empty litter box. Let stand for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water.

21. Kill bacteria in meat. Marinating in vinegar knocks out bacteria and tenderizes the meat. Create a marinade by adding ¼ cup balsamic vinegar for every 2 pounds of meat to your own blend of herbs and spices. Let the meat sit anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how strong you want the flavor, then cook it in the morning without rinsing.

22. Prevent cracked eggs. Prevent eggs from cracking as they hard-boil by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar to the water. The eggs will stay intact, and the shells will peel off more easily when you’re ready to eat them.

23. Steam away a microwave mess. Fill a small bowl with equal parts hot water and vinegar, and place it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. As the steam fills the microwave, it loosens the mess, making clean up a breeze.

24. Repair DVDs. If you have a worn DVD that skips or freezes, wipe it down with white distilled vinegar applied to a soft cloth. Make sure the DVD is completely dry before reinserting it into the player.

25. Get those last drops. If you can’t get that final bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, dribble in a few drops of vinegar. Put the cap on tightly and shake. The remaining condiments will slide out.

26. Rinse fruits and vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to one pint water. Use the mixture to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. The solution kills more pesticide residue than does pure water.

27. Brighter Easter eggs. Before your kids dye Easter eggs, mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with ½ cup of hot water, then add food coloring. The vinegar keeps the dye bright and prevents the color from streaking.

28. Loosen a rusted screw. Pour vinegar onto the screw, and it will easily unstick.

29. Remove gum. To remove gum from fabric or hair, heat a small bowl of vinegar in the microwave. Pour the warm vinegar over the gum, saturating the area. The gum will dissolve.

30. Keep cheese from molding. Wrap cheese in a vinegar-soaked cloth, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

31. Renew a loofah. Soak your loofah in equal parts vinegar and water for 24 hours to dissolve soap residue, then rinse in cold water.

32. Remove wax. If you get melted candle wax on your wood furniture or floors, gently wipe it away with a cloth soaked in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

33. Take a relaxing bath. Add ½ cup of vinegar to warm bath water for a cheap spa session at home. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving you feeling soft and smooth.

34. Brighten your hair. Remove hair product buildup by rinsing a tablespoon of vinegar through your hair once a month.

35. Freshen fabrics. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz your home to neutralize odors in fabrics, carpets, shoes or any sprayable surface.

36. Erase crayon. If your kids get crayon marks on the walls or floor, dip a toothbrush in white vinegar and gently scrub. The vinegar breaks down the wax, making for an inexpensive, nontoxic way to clean up after children.

37. Sticky stickers. Don’t scratch at the residue left by stickers or price tags. Instead, apply vinegar to the gunk, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe the glue away.

38. Clean the dishwasher and coffee pot. Reduce soap buildup and food residue by pouring a cup of vinegar into your empty dishwasher or coffee pot once a month and letting it run a full cycle.

39. Sanitize pet accidents. You can remove the stain―and smell―of your pet’s accident by mixing ¼ cup vinegar with a quart of water and blotting the mixture onto the mess with a washcloth. Continue dabbing until the spot is gone.

40. Prep for summer grilling. To remove charcoal buildup from your grill, spray white distilled vinegar on balled up aluminum foil and scrub the grate thoroughly.

41. Restore showerhead pressure. If your showerhead gets clogged with mineral deposits, soak it for 15 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 quart water.

42. Clean your scissors. When your scissor blades get sticky, wipe them down with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar. Unlike soap and water, vinegar won’t ruin the blades or rust the metal.

43. Unclog drains. For a natural, nontoxic way to clean clogged pipes, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Let the products bubble and foam, then flush the pipes with a pot of boiling water.
44. Eliminate dandruff. If your scalp is feeling dry or flaky, vinegar can be a simple at-home remedy. Once a week, pour one cup of apple cider vinegar over your scalp, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. 

45. Soften your feet. Summer sandals leaving you with cracked heals and calluses? Soak your feet for 20 minutes a day in one part vinegar to two parts warm water. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving your feet soft and smooth.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon
Today is the second year anniversary of the passing of my dear husband.  I thought a nice way to honor his memory would be to publish a recipe he really enjoyed.  Well, I couldn't think of any one recipe that I would say was his very favorite but this dish would be eaten with the compliment, Thanks for a nice dinner, I really enjoyed his recipe".  We had a very compatible dietary plan.  It was simply he loved to eat and I loved to cook.  I did not repeat unless by request.  His birthdate is July 29.  I will then publish his favorite birthday treat.

Beef Bourguignon

6 slices thick cut bacon diced
3 lbs lean stew beef cut into 2" cubes
2 yellow onions, sliced
3 medium carrots, diced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine
3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
20 pearl onions peeled/skinned (or use thawed frozen ones)
An herb bouquet of (4 parsley sprigs, one bay leaf, and one quarter teaspoon thyme all tied in cheesecloth)
1lb fresh white button mushrooms sliced


Warm up a skillet, then add bacon.  Cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is nice and crispy.  Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.  Pour off all but a tablespoon of bacon fat from pan, reserving the rest of the grease for cooking.

Return the pan to medium-high heat.  Pat the beef dry and sprinkle with flour salt and pepper.  Just before the bacon fat is smoking, add a single layer of beef cubes.  Sear the meat in batches, flipping the pieces after 1 to 3 minutes.


After each batch, transfer the seared beef to the slow cooker.  Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of wine using a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan while the wine simmers.  Pour the wine over the seared meat once the pan is cleaned.

Add 1 more tablespoon of leftover bacon grease to the pan and repeat the searing of the meat and deglazing of the pan until all the meat is seared.

Wipe the pan clean and warm one more tablespoon of bacon grease (or vegetable oil) over medium heat.  Cook the mushrooms with 1/4 teaspoon salt until the release all of their liquid and the liquid has evaporated.  The mushrooms should end ups nice golden brown (about 8 to 10 minutes).  Transfer the mushrooms to a clean bowl and set aside.
Add one more tablespoon of the bacon fat and cook the yellow onions with 1/4 teaspoon of salt until soft and browned (6 to 8 minutes).  Add the carrots and cook until softened.  Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant.  Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker.


Stir together the mixture in the slow cooker with an additional 1 teaspoon salt, the thyme, and the crumbled bay leaf.  Add the herb bouquet to the mixture and pour in the beef broth and remaining wine over the mixture.  Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Just before serving, stir in the reserved bacon, pearl onions, and mushrooms, then cover and cook for another 10 minutes.  Remove the herb bouquet then serve.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole 

1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs beaten
1 stick butter, melted
4 heaping T. all purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1/4 C. diced green pepper (you can use red, I only had green)
1 C. whole milk
1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr. 20 min.