Friday, September 28, 2018

RECIPE: Easy Beef Stroganoff, gluten free

Looking for an easy Beef Stroganoff recipe I was disappointed to see that they all call for either Worcester Sauce (which is full of MSG) and/or flour.  I never use either.  This recipe comes together in minutes.

Easy (GF) Beef Stroganoff
Serves 4

1 pound beef tenderloin (or beef ribeye)
4 T. ghee
1 pound of sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 large yellow onions, sliced 1/4" thick
2 cups unsalted beef broth, preferably homemade
1 T. dry mustard powder (or Dijon mustard)
1 c. sour cream

Over medium high heat, saute mushrooms in 2 T. ghee until lightly browned.  Remove from pan and reserve.  

Saute onions in remaining ghee until translucent and lightly browned.  Add 1 cup broth and stir until it's almost all absorbed.  

While the onions are cooking, slice the beef against the grain into 2" x 1/2" strips about 1/8" thick.

When the onions are cooked, push them to the edges of the pan and add the remaining 2 T ghee to the center.  Add the beef in 2-3 batches and stir until medium rare (don't over cook it!).  Push each batch to the side, over the onions, before adding the next one.  

Add the reserved mushrooms and the remaining 1 c. broth, and stir until reduced by half.

Stir mustard into sour cream and add to pan.  Stir to combine and bring to a gentle simmer.  Serve.  

(My husband doesn't like mushrooms so I serve my portion over some mushrooms, I don't stir them into the main dish.  In the photo above, you can see them peeking out under the beef.)

Most people serve this over noodles but I serve it with a green vegetable on the side: peas, beans, asparagus, etc...   There is enough sauce to serve it with noodles if you prefer.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

RECIPE: Collards with Balsamic and Feta

A recipe from one of our farmers!!!

I haven't tried this yet, and don't have measurements (or a photo) because it was given to me in the farm store, but it sounds delicious and I wanted to get it posted ASAP so you can try it.

Collard Greens with Balsamic and Feta

Remove the stalks and slice the leaves.  Saute them with onions, garlic and some liquid (Shelley recommends chicken broth).  Serve them drizzled with balsamic and feta cheese.

Friday, September 21, 2018

RECIPE: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Green Beans

This recipe is originally from Paula Wolfert's Slow Mediterranean Kitchen, one of my favorite cookbooks.  I've found different versions online but in an effort to make the recipe more user friendly they eliminate some crucial steps and the result does not seem as appetizing.

Melt in Your Mouth Green Beans w Onion, Garlic, Tomato and EVOO
Serves 4

1.5# green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 c. EVOO
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and the flesh grated
2 T. water
1/4 t. aleppo pepper (I prefer espelette)
lemon juice

Combine everything except the lemon juice in a heavy bottom pot or slow cooker insert and stir to combine.  Crumple a large square of parchment paper.  Uncrumple it to the degree necessary to cover the beans with all edges inside the pot.  (In the photo below, I used 6 bounds of beans.)

Cover the pot and cook on low for 5-7 hours, or medium low for 2-3 hours until beans are soft but not overcooked.  Check every hour and stir to keep them moistened.

I don't have a slow cooker so I cooked mine in the oven for 12 hours as follows:

  • 2 hours at 250 or until the beans are fragrant.  Remove lid and parchment and stir every hour.  Replace parchment and lid and return to oven.
  • 8 hours at 200 (overnight).  Remove lid and parchment and stir.  Replace lid and parchment.
  • 2 hours at 250 checking and stirring every hour until beans were soft.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with a squeeze of lemon.

They are best when refrigerated overnight and then brought to room temp before serving.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

RECIPE: Creamy Kabocha Squash, Mushroom, and Noodle Bake

Years ago, I developed a recipe for butternut lasagna where I would use the butternut puree to make the noodles as well as the sauce.  But...I have not yet mastered gluten-free pasta, and this meal needed to be gluten free, so I modified the recipe to use noodles.  By making the sauce a little looser than normal and undercooking the noodles before combining them, the noodles absorbed some of the flavor of the sauce as they finished cooking in the oven.

I used kabocha squash because that's what I had available but I know it will also work with butternut.  If you use pumpkin, you will need to concentrate the puree because pumpkin has a lot more water in its flesh.

Yes, this recipe is a 'production' that requires 5 pots and pans; but, in my opinion, it's worth it and it comes together quickly.  If necessary, you can cook the squash the day before.  You can infuse the milk the day before, too, but will need to reheat it to make the sauce.  If necessary, you can put the whole dish together and then bake it the next day if you bring to room temperature first and increase the baking time.

If you don't reduce the veal broth, you can serve the 'sauce' as a soup.

Creamy Kabocha Squash, Mushroom, and Noodle Bake w Walnut Topping
Serves 4

1 medium Sunshine kabocha squash (they're orange, not blue)
1/2 c. melted ghee, divided
2 c. milk
1/2 t. dry thyme
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
a few sprigs parsley
3 whole cloves
2" stick cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 bag frozen mushrooms, or 1.5 c. sliced mushrooms sauteed in ghee (1 c. cooked)
1/4 c. flour (I use sweet rice flour)
1 c. veal broth, reduced to 1/4 c. *
2 t. lemon juice
1/2 c. grated gruyere or parmesan cheese
1/4 t. cayenne
1 pound noodles, any shape (I use penne or elbows)
2 T. ground walnuts
1/2 t. paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking pan with parchment-foil.  Quarter the squash, remove the seeds, brush with 2 T. melted ghee, and bake skin side down at 350 for 30 min or until soft and lightly browned.  Scrape flesh from skin and puree (I use a food processor; you can also use a blender or food mill).  (If you have more than 1.25 c. puree, it makes a great 'pumpkin' martini!)

2. In a medium (2 qt) sauce pan, combine milk with onion, herbs and spices, and heat over med until it begins to simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Do not let it boil!  If it does boil, it will instantly boil over so keep an eye on it!  Remove spices and parsley.  You can strain it to remove the onions but I like to leave them in.  Season with salt. 

3. Drain mushrooms reserving liquid.

4. In a large (4 qt) saucepan, melt 1/4 c. ghee on medium heat.  Add flour and stir until mixture bubbles.  Reduce heat to LOW and slowly add hot milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.  It should thicken.  if it doesn't, raise heat a little.

5. Add veal concentrate, lemon juice and liquid from mushrooms and stir until thickened.

6. Add 1.25 c. squash puree, mushrooms, cheese and cayenne and stir to combine.

7. Adjust salt.  Sauce should no be too thick since noodles will absorb some of its moisture.

* If you do not reduce the veal broth, at this point you can serve the sauce as a soup!

8. Cook noodles in salted water until they're almost done.  Remove 1/4 c. of cooking water, drain the noodles and mix them with sauce.  Add the reserved 1/4 c.  cooking water.

9. Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with walnuts and paprika.  Brush with remaining 2 T. ghee.

10.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until top is golden and edges are crispy.

Serve with bolognese sauce.

Monday, September 3, 2018

RECIPE: Canned Tomato Soup Base

Original Recipe: Ina Garten's Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

I make the original recipe (with a few modifications) up to the point where she adds the cream, and then can it.  After reheating, we add the cream.

Canned Cream of Tomato Soup Base
Serves: 6

3 T. ghee, tallow or lard
1.5 c. chopped red onions
2 carrots, chopped (I use 1 c. juicer pulp)
1 T. minced garlic
4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped*
3 c. stock (I use chicken or veal)
1 T. salt
3/4 c. cream

Heat fat in a large heavy bottom pan over med heat and saute onions and carrots until very tender.  Add garlic and saute 1 minutes.  Add tomatoes, paste, stock and salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tomatoes are very tender, 30-40 minutes.

Put through a food mill, discarding the dry pulp, OR blitz in a blender for 3 minutes until smooth.

At this point, you can either stir in the cream and serve it; or, pressure can it.  You MUST use THIS GUIDE to determine the pressure/time for your area.  Yes, the link is for canning meat, and that is the correct one to use because of the fat and onions in the recipe.  Do NOT use the pressure/time for canning tomatoes, and DO NOT WATER BATH CAN!!!!!  (Seriously, you can die if you do!)

I use pint jars, leaving 1.5" headroom, then process for 75 minutes.  One pint jar is a meal for one person when served alone, or for 2 people when served with a sandwich.  If you use quart jars, leave 2" headroom and they must be processed for at least 90 minutes.

*If you prefer a chunky soup, you can peel and seed the tomatoes before cooking them and then skip the food mill/blender.

RECIPE: Yellow Pepper Salad Dressing with Black Garlic

Have you ever tried black garlic?  I've known about it for ages but was reluctant to use it until a friend introduced me to ObisOne, located in Virginia, where they exercise control over every aspect of production from the well water usesd for irrigation to the packaging and distribution.  (THANK YOU, Jill!!!)

ObisOne is aged organic raw garlic, with twice the antioxidants as fresh garlic and none of the garlic breath.  It adds umami to savory dishes as well as a note of sweetness.  It's wonderful with eggs (deviled or scrambled),  mushrooms, and in cheese preparations.  There are several recipes on the ObisOne website, and dozens on Google.

ObisOne black garlic

Today, I used it to pump up some Yellow Pepper Dressing.  It changed the color (in a negative way - brown again!) but it improved the flavor.

Yellow Pepper Dressing with Black Garlic 
Without black garlic on the left, with black garlic on the right.
Makes 2 cups

1/2 recipe yellow pepper dressing
6 cloves black garlic

After making a full recipe (that yields 4 cups of dressing), I poured half of it into a pint jar.  To the amount remaining in the blander I added 6 cloves of black garlic and pulsed to combine.

I could have stopped when it was yellow dressing with black flecks (which looked great!) but the flavor permeates better when it's pureed.

It needs to sit overnight for the flavor to fully develop.

If you're adventuresome, you can make your own black garlic...

Saturday, September 1, 2018

RECIPE: Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich EVER!

This is my husband's recipe.  The first time I had it, I dubbed it the best grilled cheese I've ever eaten, and it still is.  Why?  The outside is lightly browned and crisp, the bread has not been smashed, and the cheese is oozy.  And, it's super easy!  The hardest part (for me) is cutting even slices of bread..

We use a small convection toaster oven but you can use a regular oven if you don't have a small one.

The BEST Grilled Cheese Sandwich EVER!
Serves 1

For each sandwich:
2 pieces challah or rich sandwich bread cut 3/8" thick
Cheddar or Gruyere cheese, cut 1/8" - 1/4" thick, to cover the entire slice of bread*
1 hot pepper** sliced paper thin
2 T. ghee, melted.

Preheat a convection oven to 350.

Line a shallow baking pan with a Silpat mat (this prevents the cheese from sticking).
Brush 1 T. ghee on one slice of bread and put it on the Silpat mat ghee side down.
Place the cheese on the bread, covering the entire slice all the way to the edges
Place the hot pepper on the cheese, as much as you can tolerate!
Top with the second slice of cheese and brush the top with the remaining ghee.

Put the pan in the hot oven for 6-7 minutes until both sides are brown.  If one side is browning faster than the other, CAREFULLY flip the sandwich.  We don't normally have to flip them.

Cut in half with a serrated knife and serve!

* When we use Organic Valley Cheddar I can get 2.5 sandwiches out of one 'block'.
** You can use ham, bacon, tuna, tomatoes, or anything else you like in addition to, or instead of, the peppers.  Cut them into small pieces to facilitate eating.