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Archive for the ‘Savory’ Category

Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots | Relishing It

As usual around this time of year, I find myself in a bit of a food rut.  It feels like we should be eating local fresh asparagus and ripe sweet strawberries, but our finicky Minnesota climate just can’t decide if it wants to launch into full-on Spring or not. So, I wait patiently for these beautiful gems to show up at the Farmers Market– because, nothing comes even close to tasting as good.  In the meantime, lighter fare is slowly creeping into my subconscious and I find myself using my Dutch oven less and less.

Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots | Relishing It

Back in my college days (many years ago), I worked as a caterer.  I really enjoyed working the events and learning about different foods.  One of my favorite dishes we did was one that is similar to the salad I’m sharing today commonly known to us then as the “President’s Salad”, because it was the President of the University’s favorite salad and he always requested it for his catered functions.  It was delicious.

Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots | Relishing It

This is my version of that salad.  I like to keep things simple and light and pack it full of robust lemon flavor.  It is definitely customizable, adding pasta stretches it a bit for larger crowds (just double the amount of sauce), which is nice for summer gatherings.  Some people may prefer the sauce in more abundance, so adding a bit more mayonnaise is completely do-able.  Surprisingly, the combination of lemon, artichokes, and carrots are a fantastic match and can make it feel like you’re eating Spring, even if you are still waiting for it to fully arrive.  Finishing it with creamy cashews add a nice crunch that this salad definitely needs.   I hope you are all enjoying a lovely Spring in your parts!

Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots | Relishing It

The Recipe: Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots

(serves 4)

2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, roasted and shredded or about 2 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded

4 large carrots, peeled and julienned (or coarse grated)

1 small celery stalk, chopped

1 14-ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed

handful of cashews and extra cilantro, for garnish

The Sauce:

1/4 cup mayonnaise (or more, if desired)

juice of 1 medium lemon

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on both sides of the chicken breasts.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 40 minutes (the time will vary depending upon the size of the breasts) or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165°F.  Remove from oven.  Cover with foil and let rest for about 10  minutes.  Shred with forks or your hands, when cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Combine the shredded chicken, artichoke hearts, carrots, and celery in a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over the contents and use tongs to gently fold everything together (so the chicken doesn’t fall apart too much).  Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary. This salad is best if it spends a little time in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld.  Serve with cashews and additional cilantro sprinkled on top.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by Relishing It!  Take care.

Laurie

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Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese | Relishing It

Cauliflower has always been a favorite vegetable in our house.  When my kids were infants I used to make homemade baby food, and puréed cauliflower was always at the top of their favorites list.  It still is, though now– obviously– they prefer it in the crunchy form.  I pack it into their lunches everyday.  And it’s not just my kids that love this wonderful vegetable.  I never tire of it because there are so many different ways to enjoy it.  The version I’m sharing with you today is so simple that I feel a little silly even giving a “recipe” for it.  But, I also realize that sometimes a food blogger’s responsibility is more than sharing multi-step recipes.  So here, I guess my goal is just want to you crave something so badly that you have to make it.

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese | Relishing It

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese | Relishing It

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese | Relishing It

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese | Relishing It

If you like buffalo sauce (and who doesn’t?), you’re going to want to make this.  And if you like blue cheese, it’s a guarantee.  Personally, I can’t get enough buffalo sauce.  And that actually goes for most hot sauces.  I’m an addict pure and simple.  I’m not ashamed.  Last time I checked, we had six different hot sauces in the refrigerator.  And while, I love to make my own salsas and hot sauces, I haven’t actually taken the plunge and tried making my own buffalo sauce.  Maybe I’ll give it a whirl this summer, but for now your favorite bottled version will work wonderfully.  It is so addictive drizzled onto perfectly roasted cauliflower with pockets of melted blue cheese here and there.  This is the perfect afternoon snack when you want big flavor, but you still want to stay on the healthy side.  Devouring a huge head of cauliflower can’t be wrong.  Am I right?  You’ll see when you give it a try.  Enjoy!

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese | Relishing It

The Recipe: Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese

1 large head of cauliflower, broken into small florets

olive oil

kosher salt

bufflalo sauce ( I love Frank’s Buffalo Sauce)

crumbled blue cheese

celery sticks, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss the cauliflower florets with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Roast until a deep golden color begins to develop, flipping once to brown all sides.  When the cauliflower is tender enough for your liking (much will depend upon how big the pieces are), about 25 minutes or so, remove from the oven.  Toss with buffalo sauce using a utensil to coat all sides, then sprinkle with a bit of blue cheese.  Return to oven for a couple of minutes until the blue cheese has melted.  Remove from oven and serve with celery sticks.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Relishing It

If you live in the Twin Cities and you frequent Farmers Markets during the summer months, chances are you’ve seen the food truck for ‘Chef Shack‘.  I stop by whenever I see it, because their food is interesting and fantastic.  So, when my good friend, Stephanie Meyer, from Fresh Tart asked me to test a recipe from the Chef Shack for her new book, Twin Cities Chef’s Table— I jumped at the opportunity.  And as it turned out, it was one of my favorite dishes from the truck.  I love these tacos and I was thrilled that I would have early access to this incredible recipe.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Relishing It

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Relishing It

These tacos are a perfect alternative when you want to skip meat for a meal (or always).  The sweet potatoes are creamy and have a subtle cumin flavor, while the black beans are studded with white onion, jalapeños, lime, and a bit more cumin.  But, I think the absolute star of the dish is the quick pickled cabbage slaw.  It adds the necessary crunch and the flavors of the apple cider brine (with red onion, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, star anise, coriander, mustard, and fennel seeds) marry beautifully with the sweet potato and black beans.  The sour cream sauce is also brilliant.  It’s simple.  And I was honestly a bit surprised to find out that there was ketchup in it!  It works fabulously, trust me.  This is a perfect dish to serve to guests for a fun taco night.  It’s completely affordable and is a great vegetarian option.  It works well to make ahead and reheat.  But, most of all– the flavors will please you so much.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Relishing It

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Relishing It

Not surprisingly these amazing tacos are just one of so many delicious recipes in Steph’s book.  It features some of the best eateries, food trucks, local farms, breweries, and co-ops from Minneapolis /St. Paul and a recipe from each of them.  I personally know many of these chefs– they are friends, they are neighbors.  These are extremely talented men and woman who can do phenomenal things with locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients.  This book is inspirational and will make you want to eat better. Not to mention it is brilliantly written.  Steph has poured her heart into this project and her dedication and care really show.  I am so proud of the current Twin Cities food scene and I am so proud of her for capturing it beautifully.  We have so much to offer here in Minnesota, and it’s nice to be able to point to a cookbook that proves this.  So, whether you are from here and would like to be able to make some of your favorite foods from your favorite places at home, or if you just want to have a little taste of our Minnesotan life– this book is one you must have.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Relishing It

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Relishing It

The Recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

(serves 6-8)

1/2 medium head red cabbage, cored and shredded

3 cups organic apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 cups cold water

1 tablespoon each black peppercorns, mustard seeds,, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and star anise

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1/4 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup diced red onion

2 large sweet potatoes

olive oil

salt and freshly grated black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

4 cups canned organic black beans and their juices

1 cup small-diced white onion

1 tablespoon diced jalapeno

1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Cholula, Tapatillo, or locally made Lucky’s), plus another dash for sauce

2 cups sour cream

2 tablespoons prepared organic mayonnaise

2 tablespoons organic ketchup

juice of one lime

fresh corn or homemade flour tortillas

Put cabbage in a colander and rinse with cold water.  Set aside to drain. In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, water, spices, garlic, ginger, and red onion to make the pickle brine.  Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Transfer cabbage to a large bowl and pour hot pickle brine over the cabbage.  Cover and set in refrigerator to chill.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place sweet potatoes in oven (I generally don’t wrap mine in foil) and bake for about 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Let cool a bit, the slice down the middle and scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash the butter, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper into it. Keep warm. (If in a rush, microwaving them is an option, too.)

While the potatoes roast, place beans and their liquid in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer beans, uncovered until very tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.  Add onion, jalapeño, hot sauce, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin and mash together with a fork.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Keep warm.

In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, ketchup, lime juice, and salt, pepper, and a dash of hot sauce to taste.

To assemble and serve the tacos: warm tortillas and top with a spoonful of black beans, a spoonful of sweet potatoes, a bit of cabbage and a drizzle of the sour cream sauce.  Enjoy!

Source: Recipe adapted from Chef Shack (Lisa Carlson & Carrie Summers, Chefs/Owners) via Twin Cities Chef’s Table by Stephanie A. Meyer

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Laurie

 

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Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

We’re kickin’ it old-school today, friends.  If there was one dish that would represent the Midwest (or are we called the North now?) hotdish would definitely win the title.  I think I do a respectable job of exposing my family to worldly cuisines, but to be honest I’m a product of North Dakota and Minnesota, so there’s something that I find so comforting in a good hearty, potato hotdish.  It’s a bit of nostalgia from my childhood, but it also just tastes so good.

Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

Hotdish can be made from a variety of ingredients– pasta, rice, or potatoes are generally combined with vegetables and proteins and a sauce of some sort.  My favorite is this one made with potatoes.  It holds together so well and the leftovers are fantastic.  Pasta hotdish leftovers, as you can imagine, become a bit mushy.  But potato versions?  They just keep getting better.

Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

The hamburger potato hotdish of my childhood isn’t exactly the version I’m sharing with you today.  My mom would make a version, probably like most of the other moms in the Midwest, using a couple cans of condensed soup.  You know the brand.  It was fine.  It was lovely.  I’m thankful that she made us delicious food.  Do I make my own hotdish using that can of condensed soup? You already know I don’t because I like to keep processed food to a minimum in my house.  Maybe I’m a bit of a control freak and I hate that I can’t control what’s going into that soup.  Maybe I hate that it has been setting on a shelf for weeks, months, or longer.  Maybe I hate preservatives.  Or maybe it’s just so easy to mix up my own– it takes just a few minutes and it tastes about 1,000x better?

Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

My point is, with whole ingredients, this hotdish is sensational.  This is mid-winter Midwest food at it’s best.  We love the peas and carrot version that I’ve photographed here.  But another classic combination that we enjoy is fresh green beans and corn.  So good!  Also, give brussel sprouts a try, as well– amazing.  You can really modify this recipe to suit your family’s taste.  Try using sweet potatoes instead of white. The same goes for the mushroom sauce– use any type of flour that your prefer to thicken it.  Make it gluten-free, if that’s what you need.  As I’ve mentioned before, the leftovers are incredible.  If this is your first time embarking on a hotdish, I hope you enjoy this delicious and legendary dish.  Bon Appétit!

Hamburger Potato Hotdish | Relishing It

The Recipe: Hamburger Potato Hotdish

(serves 4-6)

2 pounds ground beef, preferably grass-fed
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
black pepper
6-8 medium-sized yukon gold potatoes, evenly sliced (don’t even bother peeling them)
2-3 large carrots, peeled and diced small
1 10-ounce bag frozen peas, no need to thaw
chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Mushroom Sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour (AP, White Whole Wheat, or Gluten-Free all work)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup finely chopped crimini mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried thyme or fresh
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (don’t use dried– just omit if you don’t have any)
kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef. Drain the fat when finished. Add the onion, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes until the vegetables become somewhat aromatic. Remove from heat.

In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter.  When melted, whisk in the flour. When it bubbles, slowly whisk in the milk, followed by the thyme, rosemary, and mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue stirring while the entire mixture becomes hot and starts to form bubbles. It will be done when the sauce has thickened a bit, about 5-10 minutes.

Place the meat mixture in a casserole dish, roughly 11 x 8 x 2.  Then toss the carrots and peas evenly over the meat. Layer the sliced potatoes next until they reach top of the dish. You may need more or less potatoes depending upon the size of your dish. Place the casserole on a large baking sheet to catch any drips while it bakes. Slowly and evenly pour the mushroom sauce over the potatoes. You may want to gently tap the dish to coax the sauce down in between the potatoes.  It will settle in more as it bakes, so don’t worry. Cover with a lid or use a tented piece of foil. Bake for about 1 hour, but remove the lid when there are just 10 minutes left to bake. Test the doneness of the potatoes using a fork.  Bake longer if need be. Remove from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before serving, or the juices will run everywhere. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

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Simple Pasta with Garlic, Chilies, and Lemon | Relishing It

This dish takes me back to my college years, except this is the grown-up version.  One of my go-to meals in college was a bowl of pasta with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parmesan– eaten with some of my girlfriends, of course.  There was rarely a time that I wasn’t in the mood for it and it always hit the spot.  So very simple.  A few many years later, this still remains a favorite comfort meal of mine, with a few tweaks, of course.

Simple Pasta with Garlic, Chilies, and Lemon | Relishing It

A delicious stunner of a meal doesn’t have to be complicated or take up your entire night to prepare.  This dish takes only minutes. In fact, in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta you are finished.  Not bad, right?

Simple Pasta with Garlic, Chilies, and Lemon | Relishing It

The robust flavors are what make me love this dish.  Pungent garlic, spicy chili peppers, bright lemon juice and zest, fresh nutty parmesan, vibrant parsley, and even an anchovy (if you are so inclined) give this meal a wonderful depth.  You can customize it to fit your family’s needs, of course.  Not into spicy food?  Go ahead and skip the peppers.  I generally double the amount of spice when I make it for myself– I can’t get it hot enough.  The main trick of this dish, is to know that the finished pasta has to be thinned out with some reserved pasta water.  This is key.  The pasta water (containing all of its starches) clings to the pasta and creates a light, creamy sauce with the parmesan and olive oil.  It’s magical.  So, don’t be afraid to loosen it up with that water– it’s a necessity!

Simple Pasta with Garlic, Chiles, and Lemon | Relishing It

Another tip to know is that the garlic, onion, chili pepper, lemon zest, and hot pepper flakes need to be sautéed in the olive oil while the pasta is cooking.  This is important because it infuses the oil with a ton of flavor, but you’ll want to keep the temperature on the low side, so the garlic doesn’t burn.  This is a perfect meal when you are in the mood for delicious comfort food, but are a bit short on time.  Admittedly, this is not one of Radd’s favorite pasta dishes, which stuns me because it’s so amazing (he tends to lean toward the meat-full varieties), so I’ve written the recipe to serve one.  You can easily adjust if you are aiming for a larger portion.  Hope you enjoy!

Simple Pasta with Garlic, Chilies, and Lemon | Relishing It

The Recipe: Simple Pasta with Garlic, Chilies, and Lemon

(serves 1)

3 ounces long pasta (thin spaghetti works well here)

about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, use more if needed

2 tablespoons finely minced red or white onion, or shallot

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 small anchovy, finely minced (optional, of course)

1 red chili pepper, finely minced (scale back or add more according to taste)

sprinkle of hot pepper flakes

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup good quality parmesan or grana padano cheese

large handful of freshly chopped parsley

1 cup of reserved pasta water (you most likely will not use all of it)

salt and pepper

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  While the water is heating, chop the ingredients.

Add the dry pasta to the boiling water, be sure to add salt.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a small skillet with olive oil and add the garlic, onion, chili peppers, hot pepper flakes, lemon zest, and anchovy (if using).  Sauté over low-medium heat, stirring regularly.  Keep a watchful eye, so the garlic doesn’t burn.  You want to infuse the olive oil with all the flavors.  The vegetables should be tender by the time the pasta is finished cooking, or even a bit before.

Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside.  Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the vegetables.  Add most of the cheese (reserving some to sprinkle on top), lemon juice, and a bit of the pasta water.  Combine using tongs.  Add more water, if you want it looser.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and top with the remaining parmesan, fresh parsley, and more red pepper flakes.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

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Braised Beef Roast with Red Wine and Rosemary | Relishing It

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite beef roast recipes that somehow has not found it’s way onto the blog already.  And that is a pity, because it’s one of my go-to roast recipes.  There are so many wonderful things to love about this dish.  Let me start by saying that this recipe (like most recipes) can be braised in a Dutch oven or a slow cooker.  I generally make it on the oven, but have on occasion made it in a slow cooker.  Both versions are incredibly delicious.  So, depending upon your needs, you have the option to cook it however you like.  This dish is also a perfect make-a-day-ahead dish, as it reheats beautifully and the flavors get even better the next day.

Braised Beef Roast with Red Wine and Rosemary | Relishing It

There are a wonderful array of flavors that are combined with this roast.  I’m guessing you are figuring out that I love the combination of red wine and rosemary together since one of my recent posts also featured these flavors.  I can’t help it, they are perfect with beef.  I chop up carrots, celery, onion, and garlic into very small pieces that break down into a wonderful, delicious sauce. Fresh rosemary and thyme and a bay leaf are added to the vegetables, along with the red wine and a dab of tomato paste.  Left to braise for just a few hours in the oven, or all day in the slow-cooker, the beef becomes tender and you are left with a very rich and flavorful sauce.  The next step is up to you– there are a few options.  When the roast is done cooking, remove it from the pan.  At this point you can purée the sauce if you don’t want tiny bits of vegetables, or reduce it if you want it thicker.  However, here’s what I do.  I combine a bit of butter and a bit of flour (equal parts) with a fork until they form a paste.  I whisk that into the sauce, to thicken it just slightly.  And that’s it.  I don’t strain or purée it, because I really enjoy the chunky texture of the cooked down vegetables.  I re-season with salt and pepper and add some fresh parsley to brighten it up.  We love this meal.  Truly, it’s one of our favorites.  The red wine need not be expensive, something dry works well.  And as always, something you’ll want to drink, because there will be a bit leftover.

Braised Beef Roast with Red Wine and Rosemary | Relishing It

Along with braising some beautiful dishes this winter, I’ve taken up sourdough bread-baking using wild yeast.  This has been so fun and exhilarating.  I absolutely love to learn new techniques in the kitchen.  Back in the day before commercial yeast existed, this is how people had to make their bread –capturing and manipulating wild yeast spores that were in the air, on the flour, and even on their skin.  It is all very fascinating to me.  A lot of observing has gone into this process.  Being able to know when my starter is ready to be used or when it is hungry and needs to be fed.  Dealing with a cold, Minnesota house and predicting how long it will take my dough to get to the point where it is ready to be baked.  I’ve enjoyed the process and we all have enjoyed the bread.  And now it’s become part of our routine.

Braised Beef Roast with Red Wine and Rosemary | Relishing It

I hope you make this beef roast and either bake up some warm crusty bread or buy yourself a loaf, because that sauce will be begging for some.  Enjoy!

Braised Beef Roast with Red Wine and Rosemary | Relishing It

The Recipe: Braised Beef Roast with Red Wine and Rosemary

2 tablespoons olive oil

3-6 pound beef roast, preferably grass-fed (no need for an expensive cut)

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

4-5 fresh rosemary sprigs (either left whole or leaves removes and minced)

small bunch of fresh thyme (either left whole or leaves removed and minced)

1 dried bay leaf

2 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste

2 cups red wine

2 cups water

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons softened butter

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons flour

fresh parsley, for serving

Slow-Cooker Method: I’m not going to list cooking times in this recipe.  Most everyone’s slow-cooker cooks at a different rate and the size of your beef will effect the amount of time needed, as well. If cooking entirely on low– I’d give yourself 12 hours or so.  You may want to do a combination of slow/high temperatures, if wanting to shorten the length of time.  Dry off the beef and season liberally with salt and pepper.  In a deep pan, such as a dutch oven, add some olive oil and when the pan is hot, brown all the sides of the beef.  You want a deep caramel color.  Remove the beef from the pan and place it into the slow-cooker. Add the vegetables and a bit more olive oil to the hot pan. Cook just a few minutes until softened a bit. Then add the tomato paste, red wine, and water and bring to a boil, scraping up anything on the bottom of the pan.  Pour it over the beef in the slow-cooker and cook either on high or low, or whatever works best when cooking meat in your slow-cooker.  Add the rosemary, thyme, (they can be left whole, just remove the stems before serving, or remove leaves and mince, if you don’t enjoy large rosemary leaves) bay leaf, and a bit of salt and pepper. The beef is done when it is very tender and can be easily maneuvered with a fork. If it doesn’t feel tender, leave it a bit longer.

Dutch Oven Method:  Preheat oven to 325°F.  Add the olive oil to the pan and heat.  Dry off the beef and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Brown all the sides until it reaches a deep caramel color.  Remove beef from pan.  Add more olive oil, if necessary and sauté the vegetables for a few minutes until softened.  Add the tomato paste, red wine, and water and bring to a boil, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan.  Place the beef back into the Dutch oven, along with the rosemary, thyme (they can be left whole, just remove stems before serving, or remove leaves and mince, if you don’t like large rosemary leaves) bay leaf and a bit of salt and pepper. Cooking time will vary depending upon how big of a piece of beef you braise.  Begin checking at 2 hours for a smaller one, larger ones will take around 2 1/2 – 3 hours, or more.  The beef will be done when it is very tender and can be maneuvered easily with a fork.  If it doesn’t feel tender, braise it longer.

Before serving for both methods:  remove the beef and scrape off any visible fat.  You may reduce the sauce if you want, or purée it.  I don’t.  Remove and discard the bay leaf and any rosemary or thyme stems (if there are any) from the pan.  In a small bowl, combine the butter and flour with a fork until a paste forms and whisk it into the liquid over medium-high heat on the stovetop.  If using the slow-cooker method, it is a good idea to transfer the sauce to a pan and place on the stovetop when adding the butter/flour mixture over medium-high heat.  Re-season with salt and pepper (sometimes a lot of salt is needed to bring out the flavor, but don’t worry– it’s a big piece of beef) and add fresh parsley before serving.  This roast goes beautifully with regular mashed potatoes or a potato mash combined with parsnips or celery root.  One more note, this is a perfect make-a-day-ahead meal, as the flavors get even better after sitting overnight. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

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Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

Continuing with the ginger theme from last week, I give you these Asian lettuce wraps.  This is one of my go-to meals when I feel like stuffing my face with some serious flavor, but I still want to keep it on the healthy side.  Texture is the key here.  Adding crisp veggies and crunchy peanuts make this wrap stand out.

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

The black bean garlic sauce gives this dish a bit of oomph and can be found at most any Asian or even some regular grocery stores.  The beans are fermented, which lends a unique flavor to the dish.  If you’ve never tried using black bean garlic sauce before, you will soon find many ways to incorporate it into your Asian cooking– it’s wonderful, plus it lasts forever in your refrigerator.  The hoisin sauce is also instrumental in bringing a touch of sweetness to the mixture.  Both ingredients work well with fresh ginger and garlic.

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

The meat mixture is very versatile and can be adjusted to fit what you have on hand.  Ground chicken, turkey, or even pork all work well.  Sometimes I even toss in some frozen peas, which my kids really enjoy.  However you make it, I know you’re going to love these lettuce wraps!

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

The Recipe: Asian Lettuce Wraps

(serves four)

1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or pork

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon (or more) chili garlic sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

sprinkle of Togarashi on each wrap, optional

About 2 heads of bibb (sometimes called butter) lettuce

fresh bean sprouts, 2 grated carrots, hot peppers, crushed peanuts, and Sriracha sauce, for serving

In a small mixing bowl, combine the black bean garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic chili sauce, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat,  brown the meat.  Drain off and discard any grease.  Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté for a minute or two.  Add the contents of the bowl to the meat and mix together until warmed through.  Taste and re-season, if necessary.

Assemble the wrap with a piece of lettuce, a bit of the meat mixture, sprouts, carrots, hot peppers, peanuts, sriracha, and a sprinkle of Togarashi, if desired.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

I know I’ve mentioned here– on several occasions– how much I love the meatballs from my childhood.  Today’s recipe is a meatball that I wouldn’t have recognized as a kid.  There was nothing ethnic about the versions we would gobble up in my early years.  Fresh ginger?  Nope.  Never had it back then.  Fish sauce?  Are you kidding me?  I guess these Thai meatballs reflect how different my culinary life is now with access to different styles of food and ingredients.  I still love those German meatballs from my childhood– I ask my mom to make them every time I get back to North Dakota– but now, I love this ethnic version as well.  In fact give me ALL of the ethnic food.  And make it extra spicy, please.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

These meatballs definitely have some fantastic Thai flavors to them.  Fresh ginger and garlic are noticeable right from the start.  Ginger is one of those flavors that I can’t get enough of.  It brightens the food, and oddly, my mood.  Just smelling it puts me in a happy state.  The cilantro adds a vibrant freshness to them, as well.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

The sauce is simple, but tastes extraordinary.  Using homemade chicken broth adds great depth.  The spices are subtle.  This is not an overpowering sauce and please keep in mind that it is not thick whatsoever– this is a thin, soup-like sauce.  The cinnamon, star anise, coriander seed, and cardamom marry perfectly with the coconut milk.  The beautiful color comes from the ground turmeric, which also imparts such a lovely flavor.  And though simmering for a half hour is wonderful, if you have even a bit more time, more of those wonderful flavors from the spices will be released.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

A couple of things to think about.  I realize that not everyone can find kaffir lime leaves very easily.  I found mine at an Asian grocery store. And even lemongrass might be difficult for some, though decidedly more available than the lime leaves.  If you can find these items, just know that they can be stored in your freezer for future use, so stock up!  They are wonderful to use this way during the winter months and they add a brightness to your soups and meals.  However, if you’re living in an area that does’t carry these items, don’t fret.  Please, still try the dish and substitute a bit of lime zest (from 1-2 limes) in it’s place.  Though not a complete substitute, the flavor will get you there and you’ll still be able to fully enjoy this delicious meal.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

We eat this meal with brown rice.  It becomes a nice bowl of goodness with the meatballs and the coconut curry all swimming in the bowl together.  It’s warm and comforting.  And yes, in my spice-loving opinion, I think you should add a few drops of sriracha sauce onto the top of your meatballs.  It is pure bliss.  Making Bánh Mì meatball sandwiches with the leftover meatballs, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and spicy peppers is a fantastic variation on this meal. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce | Relishing It

The Recipe: Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

(makes 39-40 meatballs)

For the Meatballs:

2 pounds ground turkey (humanely raised)

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

5 garlic cloves, finely minced

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

zest of 2 limes

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free bread crumbs, if you prefer)

1 egg, lightly whisked

For the Coconut Curry Sauce:

2 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth or purchased

15 ounces coconut milk (not lite, please)

2 teaspoons coriander seeds (toasted, if you have the time)

6 cardamom pods

2 star anise

1 3-inch cinnamon stick

5 kaffir lime leaves

3 1-inch knobs of fresh ginger, peeled and bruised

2 4-inch stalks of lemongrass, bruised (green parts removed)

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper, to taste

extra cilantro, hot peppers, and sriracha sauce for serving

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the meatball ingredients and gently mix together using your hands.  Try not to over-mix meatballs, or they tend to be somewhat tough.  Using a small scoop (1 tablespoon), form the mixture into balls and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  You will end up with about 39-40 meatballs. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.  This will give the flavors time to develop a bit.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  After that hour, place the pan of meatballs into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Place the coriander seeds, cardamom pods, and star anise into a piece of cheesecloth and tie it with cooking string. Gently pound on the sachet with a rolling pin to crush the spices a bit. This will release more of their flavors.

Meanwhile, start the sauce while the meatballs are baking, or just before they go into the oven.  You’ll want it to simmer for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to mingle, but if you have more time than that– great!  In a large 12-inch skillet with sides, or something similar, add all of the sauce ingredients, except the lime juice, to the pan. Place the sachet of spices into the sauce, as well. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a low-medium simmer with the lid on.  Stir occasionally.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Add the lime juice when the sauce is finished.  Adjust seasonings, if needed.  Place the meatballs into the sauce or keep them separate– your choice.  Serve with brown rice, cilantro, spicy peppers, and plenty of sriracha!  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Feasting At Home

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Beef Bourguignon | Relishing It

Happy New Year, friends!  I hope your holidays were wonderful.  Ours certainly were, as we traveled back to North Dakota and were able to spend time with much of our family.  The older I get the more I cherish this time.  Things returned to normal this week with the kids going back to school.  I love the holiday season, and letting it go can be a little bit hard for me.  And so it goes.

Beef Bourguignon | Relishing It

We came back to a much colder and whiter Minnesota than the one we left. In fact, the day we departed for ND, I was hustling about taking the recycling out with bare feet and wasn’t a bit bothered by it.  Wow, things have since changed.  We’re back to normal January weather with all of it’s wind chill glory (that’s sarcasm, folks). So, you can guess that I have warm comforting food on my mind.  Forget the New Year health fanatics with their cold smoothies and cold salads.  This girl needs warmth.  Don’t fret though, this is definitely health food– full of grass-fed beef and hearty vegetables.

Beef Bourguignon | Relishing It

This beef bourguignon has been a favorite in our house for years and I’m only now getting around to sharing it with you.  The shame!  You’ll love it. It’s simple and full of earthy flavor.  Of course, there is a fair amount of red wine in it that works it’s magic with the beef.  Remember the homemade beef broth I posted somewhat recently?  You’ll definitely want to use that in this recipe.  And as for the wine, there is no need to spend a lot of money on a bottle.  A basic table wine will suffice, something somewhat dry. Something you’ll enjoy sipping on while you cook or when you eat, there will be a bit leftover.  As always, buy good quality grass-fed beef.  As with most stews, this one gets even better the next day, but chances are you won’t have any leftovers.  It’s delicious.  Hope you enjoy!

Beef Bourguignon | Relishing It

The Recipe: Beef Bourguignon

(serves 4 or so)

olive oil

About 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 pounds of grass-fed beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 white onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 quart homemade beef broth or purchased

2 cups dry red wine (table wine works well here)

2 cups water

1 large sprig fresh rosemary, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 dried bay leaf

6 large carrots, peeled and cubed

7 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed

1 1/2 tablespoons room temperature butter mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (gluten-free flour can be substituted)

12 ounces frozen green peas

12-15 frozen pearl onions

2-3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, to garnish

salt and pepper, to taste

In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed kettle, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper over the beef and add half of it to the hot pan.  Do not move it– let a nice dark golden color develop before flipping it over to brown the other sides.  Remove the caramelized meat from the pan and add the second batch, adding more olive oil if necessary.  When the second batch is done, remove that as well.

Add the diced onion and garlic to the hot pan.  Add a splash of beef broth if there are some darkened pieces that need some attention.  There is so much flavor in those pieces!  Continue to cook and stir  for a couple of minutes until the onion is somewhat softened, adding more broth if necessary.

Return the meat to the pan and add the remaining beef broth, red wine, water, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf.  Add a bit of salt and pepper, too.  Bring to a near boil, then reduce the heat to a small simmer for about 2 hours.

When the beef is tender, add the potatoes and carrots to the pan and increase the heat to medium.  When the carrots and potatoes are fork tender, about 20-25 minutes, add the flour/butter mixture.  This will thicken the stew ever so slightly.  Gently, stir it in well.  Then add the peas and pearl onions and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are warmed through.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Don’t be scared to add more salt.  Serve with chopped fresh parsley.  Buttered crusty bread is a must with this meal. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

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Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

Well this week has flown by.  My little boy has been sick for a few days, so my usual routine has been interrupted.  I absolutely don’t mind the interruption, and like having him home with me all day again, but I just hate it when my little ones are sick.  Since he hasn’t been eating a whole lot (sore throat), I’m so thankful to have frozen broth at the ready for both the ease and the nourishment that it can give to him.  I guess this is as good a time as any to post this recipe, then.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

Making broth isn’t a new concept, but it seems as though the foodie/health world has rediscovered it lately.  There’s a good reason for that.  Making broth is simple and it offers so many healthy benefits that store-bought versions simply do not.  They also taste so much better.  Make a homemade broth and then do a taste-test with a store brand.  I have.  The difference is stunning.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

For my beef broth, I start with finding some good, properly-raised beef.  You know I’m a grass-fed beef advocate.  So, I suggest you find some grass-fed beef bones (you’ll want a mix of marrow bones and some with a bit of meat on them) to make the healthiest, most nourishing broth possible.  Soup bones can easily be found at a good co-op or grocery store, your local butcher, or from the farmers market. They’re cheap.  Sometimes they’re even labeled “pet bones”– which is kind of odd.  But trust me, they’ll make a rich broth that you’ll love.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

The other ingredients you likely already have at home– carrots, celery, onion, garlic, cider vinegar, and some dried or fresh herbs.  It’s a simple process that involves roasting the bones and vegetables first– to really amp up their flavors– then simmering on the stove for hours with water, herbs, and vinegar.  The vinegar is added to, supposedly, draw out some of the minerals from the bones.  I’ve read conflicting information on this, but I finally decided that since I love the flavor it imparts, I’m going to go with it.  Simmer this broth as long as you can.  The longer you do, the more nutrients it will draw out of the bones.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

The flavor will be good after three hours, or so– but shoot for 8 or even 24, if that’s a possibility for you. Also, after simmering for about 2-3 hours, I remove the bone with meat on it, and trim the cooked meat off. I put the bone back into the broth and save the meat to use another time. At this point it hasn’t been overcooked, but it has still added plenty of flavor to the broth already. If you don’t want to bother, just leave it in the broth for the duration of the time. As long as you hit that three-hour mark, the broth will taste amazing! Use it in soups like this Paprikash that is one of our family favorites. Fill your freezer up with both this beef broth and this chicken broth for quick, healthy soups this winter.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

The Recipe: Homemade Beef Broth

(makes a few quarts)

about 6 pounds of good quality, preferably grass-fed, beef bones (some containing marrow and some containing a bit of meat)

about 3 carrots, halved

2 celery stalks, halved

1 large onion, quartered

1 garlic bulb (that’s the entire thing), halved and not peeled

3 dried bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

handful of fresh parsley, rough chopped

2 tablespoons kosher salt, or more to taste

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean-up). Place the beef bones, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic on the pan with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Roast for about 40-45 minutes, or until the beef and vegetables have a bit of color. Remove from oven.

Add the beef, vegetables, and any juices (leave the grease behind) to a large kettle.  Top it with the bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, fresh parsley, cider vinegar, and enough cold filtered water to cover it all.

Bring everything to a high simmer so that it’s almost boiling, but not quite.  Then reduce the heat with the lid ajar to just a low simmer that is barely bubbling and let it cook away for as many hours as you can.  Three hours for sure, but shoot for more, if you can. If wanting to use the meat from the meaty bone (and you should– it’s great for quick meals and/or snacks), remove from bone after about 2-3 hours, put the bone back in the pot.

After you have finished simmering the broth, remove the large pieces with tongs and strain the liquid through a cheesecloth.  This will give you a nice clear broth. At this point you can put it in jars (or BPA-free plastic quart-sized containers) leaving about an inch of head-space (the liquid will expand as it freezes) or leave it in a large pot and refrigerate until completely cold (this will take hours, so overnight works well) and pour into jars afterwards. This makes removing the top layer of grease a cinch. Once that has been completed, throw a lid on it and freeze.

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It! Have a great weekend.

Laurie

 

 

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