Thursday, September 23, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon

I ventured out and made this wonderful classic French recipe last week for dinner on Friday night. It's definitely worth the time and effort! So pop open and bottle of French wine, create a French music channel on Pandora and get cooking. Bon Appetit!

Boeuf Bourguignon

1 whole head of garlic
2 tablespoons plus 2 cups dry red wine

4 thick bacon slices, cut into 1-inch wide strips
3 1/2 pounds boneless beef cross-rib roast, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large fresh thyme sprigs
3 large fresh sage sprigs
3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 cups (or more) canned beef broth

12 ounces pearl onions
3 bunches baby carrots, trimmed, peeled

12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place garlic on large piece of foil. Pour 2 tablespoons wine over garlic. Wrap foil around garlic to enclose. Roast garlic until soft, about 40 minutes. Cool. Press garlic between fingertips to release from skins; set aside.

Cook bacon in large pot over medium heat until brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Pour drippings into small bowl. Return 2 tablespoons to same pot; reserve remainder. Increase heat to high. Working in batches, add beef to pot and brown, about 7 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to large bowl.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chopped onion and chopped carrot to pot; saute 5 minutes. Mix in flour. Return beef and accumulated juices to pot. Stir in tomato paste. Add herb sprigs, bay leaves, roasted garlic and 2 cups wine; simmer 15 minutes. Add 3 cups broth. Cover; simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Uncover; simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Discard herb sprigs and bay leaves.

Cook pearl onions in large saucepan of boiling salted water for minutes. Using 4 to 5 inch diameter strainer, transfer onions to medium bowl; cool slightly, then peel. Return water to boil. Add carrots and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; saute until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add pearl onions to mushrooms; saute until onions are golden, about 4 minutes. Add carrots; cook until heated through , about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Bring stew to simmer, thinning with more broth, if desired. Stir bacon and 2/3 of vegetables into stew. Transfer to large bowl. Top stew with remaining vegetables.

Finished Product

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall Is In The Air

Low humidity, cool nights and mornings, nice breezes, pumpkin patches begin in 2 weeks and colors are starting to appear on the trees.

We've been spending a lot of time outside....ahh grilling.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Greek-Style Shrimp With Tomatoes & Feta

Nathan occasionally surprises me with little things like great cooking magazines. A few weeks ago he bought me the latest issue of Cooks's Illustrated...this is what we tried.

Greek-Style Shrimp With Tomatoes & Feta
Serves 4 to 6
Serve with crusty bread or steamed white rice

1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on, if desired
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp ouzo (substitute: 1 Tbsp. vodka + 1/8 tsp. anise seed = 1 Tbsp ouzo)
5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 tsp grated zest from 1 lemon
Table salt and ground pepper
1 small onion, diced medium (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, steamed, seeded, and diced medium (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 green bell pepper, steamed seeded, and diced medium (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, 1/3 cup juices reserved
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

1. Toss shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon ouzo, 1 teaspoon garlic, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in small bowl until well combined. Set aside while preparing sauce.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until simmering. Add onion, red and green bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine, Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables release their moisture, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture cooks off and vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes longer. Add remaining 4 teaspoons garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and reserved juice, wine and remaining 2 tablespoons ouzo; increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded and sauce is slightly thickened (sauce should not be completely dry), 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add shrimp along with any accumulated liquid to pan; stir to coat and distribute evenly. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout, 6 to 9 minutes for extra-large or 7-10 for jumbo, adjusting heat as needed to maintain bare simmer. Remove pan from heat and sprinkle evenly with feta. Drizzle remaining tablespoon oil evenly over top and sprinkle with dill. Serve immediately.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Growlers Pourhouse

We've been waiting for about a month for this little place to open and it finally did 2 weeks ago. It is owned by the same people and right next door to the Crepe Cellar (where we ate for my b-day). Growlers centers around great craft beer and wonderful beer food. The menu consists of simple small bites, house-made sausages, oysters, and a few tasty desserts.

The tables were really neat as well as the huge front door.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One Of Those Nights

It's been way too long since I've had yummy!