Monday, January 1, 2018

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

It's a cold day here in Seattle. We might hit 34F today. From around October through March I'm constantly on the look out for a warm, cozy, comfort type of food to fill my belly (when I'm not eating Jenny Craig meals - which should be more than it is). I typically like to make these types of meals on the weekends, and share them with family and friends.

Sister In Law and Blueberry are coming over today to scrapbook. What better way to ring in a new year than with memories of the past and yummy food?

Beef Burgundy, or Beef Bourguignon, or Beef stew of any way, shape or form, will always be at the top of my lists. This one promises to be delicious. It has all the right ingredients to make it so.

I was amused at the photo of this online - it shows this being poured over mashed potatoes. AND the recipe has potatoes in it. It immediately reminded me of being in Ireland where the Guinness Stew had potatoes and it was poured over mashed potatoes. I mean, what's not to like?

I've chosen to not put potatoes in this dish, but do plan on pouring it over mashed potatoes.

Enjoy. I know I will.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Recipe from The Recipe Critic
Photo from The Recipe Critic

Serves 6
5 slices bacon, finely chopped
3 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut to 1 inch cubes
1 cup red cooking wine
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup flour
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
5 Medium Carrots, sliced
1 pound baby potatoes (I used tri color)
8 ounce fresh mushrooms, sliced
fresh chopped parsley for garnish

In a large skillet cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Put bacon in slow cooker. Salt and pepper the beef and add to the skillet and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Transfer beef to the slow cooker.

Add the red wine to the skillet scraping down the brown bits on the side. Allow it to simmer and reduce and slowly add chicken broth, and tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the flour. Add the sauce to the slow cooker.
Add garlic, thyme, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms to the slow cooker. Give it a good stir and cook on low until beef is tender for 8-10 hours or high for 6-8. Garnish with fresh parley and serve with mashed potatoes if desired.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

One-Pan Noodle Bowls

Remember in college when you were broke and you ate top raman? And you swore you'd never eat it again...tonight I'm having raman. Though not quite the top raman sort.

I got my Cook's Country magazine in the mail this week and this recipe was in it. It sounded so good, I decided to make it tonight for dinner.

One-Pot Noodle Bowls
Photo from Cook's Country
Recipe from Cook's Country Oct/Nov 2017
Serves 4

1/4 c hoisin sauce
3 T soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1 (12 oz) pork tenderloin, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced
2 1/4 c chicken broth
2 T vegetable oil
4 oz white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 T grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 (3oz) packages raman noodles, season packets set aside for another day
12 oz broccoli florets, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 scallions, sliced thin on the bias

Whisk 1 T hoisin, 1 T soy sauce and cornstarch together in a bowl. Add pork and toss to coat; set aside. Whisk broth, remaining 3 T hoisin, and remaining 2 T soy sauce together in a second bowl, set aside.

Heat 1 T oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add broth mixture and bring to boil. Arrange noodles in skillet in single layer; cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until noodles have softened on bottoms (tops will still be dry), about 3 minutes.

Uncover skillet and flip noodles and stir to separate. Spread noodles in even layer and scatter broccoli over top. Cover and cook until noodles and broccoli are tender, about 3 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking. Divide noodle mixture evenly among individual bowls; tent with aluminum foil.

Wipe skillet clean with paper towel. Heat remaining oil over high eat until just smoking. Add pork in a single layer, breaking up any clumps and cook without stirring until browned on bottom, about 1 minute. Stir and continue to cook until pork is no longer pink, about 1 minute longer. Divide pork among bowls. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Corn and Cucumber Salad

I saw this in a Cook's Country magazine and knew I had to make it. I just needed the right reason to. If I made it for myself, that'd be just too much corn. Right?

So along came a mobile Sunday dinner that would be in a beautiful house on the water. Perfect!

As I typed up this recipe I realized I followed almost none of it. Between my laziness and my forgetfulness, I improvised a lot.

In the end, it was fantastic.

Corn and Cucumber Salad

Recipe from Cook's Country

Serves 4-6
I doubled the recipe and had enough for maybe two services left having fed 10 people.

1/2  cup extra-virgin olive oil
Taken from the Internet
4  ears corn, kernels cut from cobs  [JW Note: This is the lazy side. I simply bought frozen corn and thawed it]
 Salt and pepper
5  tablespoons lime juice (3 limes)  [JW Note: And this is the forgetful side. Forgot limes, so stopped and bought a lime garlic dressing instead. Way easier and delicious.]
1/4  cup sour cream  [JW Note: ended up not using sour cream at all.]
1/4  red onion, sliced thin
1  jalapeño chile, stemmed, halved, seeded, and sliced thin
1  English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
3  ounces feta cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)  [JW Note: Blech. I used the feta cheese, but didn't like it. Then again I don't like Feta in general].
1/4  cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add corn and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and spotty brown, 7 to 9 minutes; transfer to large bowl. Refrigerate corn until completely cool, about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, remaining 7 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup lime vinaigrette to separate bowl and whisk in sour cream; set aside. Add onion and jalapeño to remaining lime vinaigrette; let sit while corn is cooling, at least 15 minutes.

3. Add cucumber and onion-jalapeño mixture (including vinaigrette) to bowl with corn and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with feta and basil. Serve.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ropa Vieja

Meaty stew in any culture has to be good. Ropa Vieja is Cuban and one of my favorite Cuban dishes. In fact, it's their national dish, so I hear. I found this recipe in Cook's Country and decided for Mother's Day I'd give it a try.

The story behind Ropa Vieja goes something like this:
A man, too broke to afford meat for his family, stirred some old clothes (ropa vieja in Spanish) into a pot of broth. He then prayed over the pot and later, after some devine assistance, ladled out a rich stew of beef and vegetables.

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja
Cook's Country June/July 2017
Photo from the Interwebs

Serves 4-6

3 T vegetable oil
2 onions, halved and sliced thin
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced (I didn't put these in because they're gross)
1/4 c tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/2 c dry white wine
2 T soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 2 lb flank steak, tremmed (Flank steak wasn't on sale, but chuck roast was, so I used that)
3/4 c pitted green olives, sliced
1 T distilled white vinegar

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook, covered, until softened and spotty brown, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Push vegetables aside and add tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant for about 1 minute.

Stir vegetables and tomato paste together. Add wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Transfer veggies mixture, soy sauce, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Season steak with salt and pepper and put in slow cooker. Cook 6-7 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.

Transfer steak to cutting board and shred. Discard bay leaves. Return to the slow cooker and stir in olives and vinegar. Season as needed.

Serve over white rice.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Blue Cheese Crusted Sirloin Steak

This was another Home Chef recipe. The beef that I go from them in this recipe box was weird. It had an odd texture to it, so I had maybe 5 bites from the steak.

What I did taste was delicious. The blue cheese mixture on top of the steak was super flavorful and really did add to the deliciousness of this meal.

It was a mostly simple meal if you were going to make it on your own. Very few ingredients and very little prep.

Blue Cheese Crusted Sirloin Steak
Recipe from Home Chef

Serves 2

12 oz fingerling potatoes, sliced in half
6 oz carrots, sliced on the angle
2 green onions, sliced on a diagonal
2 T parsley, chopped
2 sirloin steaks, salt and peppered
1/4 c Panko breadcrumbs
2 oz blue cheese crumbles
2 oz sour cream
1 T horseradish

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss carrots and potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes. (I left them in when I broiled the steaks and got them real crisp.)

In a small mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, blue cheese, and green onions (save some for garnishing). Mash mixture until thoroughly combined, but still a little chunky. Season with salt and pepper.

Warm 2 tsp of olive oil in an oven safe pan over medium high heat. Place steaks in hot pan and cooke until steaks are browned on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Turn on broiler to high. Add blue cheese crust on top of each steak and place in the oven. Brown for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is browned.

While they're broiling, mix sour cream, parsley and horseradish to taste.

Place one steak, half of the carrots and potatoes on a plate. Add a dollop of horseradish to the side of the steak.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Chicken Chili Verde

This is another from Home Chef. I've stopped delivery for the month of April for now. I may add some weeks back, but for now I want to focus on recipes from Mom's recipe book.

This particular recipe was just meh. I usually like "verde" anything. And this may have been better without the beans, but overall it was just meh. I do realize it says "chili" and without beans it would just be Chicken Verde and that would be ok.

Chicken Chili Verde
Recipe from Home Chef
Serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 T cilantro chopped
1 can cannellini beans (15 oz)
14 fl oz Green Enchilada Sauce
1 oz sour cream

I'm a big fan of preparing your ingredients first. Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts. Chop your onions, mince your garlic, zest your lime, juice your lime and chop your cilantro.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp olive oil and chicken to hot pot. Cook undisturbed until browned, 3-4 minutes. Flip and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until chicken reaches a minimum internal temp of 165F, 4-5 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.

In the same pot, heat to medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil and onion to hot pot. Cook until softened and lightly browned, 4-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, 1 minute.

Add 1/2 c water and beans with their liquid. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-8 minutes. while soup cooks, shred chicken. Add shredded chicken and green enchilada sauce. Return to a boil and immediately remove from the burner. Stir in 1/2 of the cilantro (reserve the rest for garnish).

In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, 1 tsp lime zest and 2 tsp lime juice.

To plate, ladle chili verde into a bowl. Top with dollop of lime crema and remaining cilantro.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos

Home Chef came through again. I've found that I'm enjoying cooking shrimp more now. Not sure why all of a sudden it's on a rotation for me, but I'm sure loving it.

This recipe was easy and delicious...though the bang bang sauce didn't have a huge "bang" in my opinion.

And you all know how I love to change up recipes, right? Well, in this case, I mixed the bang bang sauce, the slaw and the tomatoes all together. It just made sense to me.

Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos
Recipe from Home Chef

Serves 2

1 lime
1 roma tomato, chopped
16 shrimp (medium size shrimp)
1 oz mayonnaise
2 tsp Sriracha sauce
2 eggs, whites only
3/4 c flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
6 small flour tortilla (corn would work well too)
4 oz slaw mix

Zest the lime, and set aside. Juice the lime and set aside. Core the roma tomato and dice.

Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the mayonnaise and Srircha in a small bowl. [JW note: I added some lime juice to this and it really made a difference.]

Place egg whites and flour in separate small mixing bowls. Working with a few shrimp at the time, dredge the shrimp in the egg whites and then dip in flour. Toss to coat completely and transfer to a plate.

Combine slaw mix with 1 T lime juice. [JW note: I put the mayo Sriracha sauce with the slaw mix as well.]. Salt and pepper slaw mix to taste.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a medium non stick pan over medium high heat. Add breaded shrimp and cook until shrimp is golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a towel-lined plate and season with salt.

Heat your tortillas. Fill tortilla with dressed slaw and top with shrimp. Drizzle with bang bang sauce if you didn't mix it with the slaw.  Squeeze a lime over the top and devour.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Irish Nachos

These were made for last years Irish Sunday Dinner...and I forgot. This year I thought I was sooo clever to make these.

I made a few modifications to this recipe out of pure laziness.

These are fantastic with my modification and sadly, too easy. I highly recommend making these for any occasion.

My modification consisted of buying Waffle fries instead of slicing potatoes. The rest I did follow.

Irish Nachos
Recipe from

12 lb potatoes,
2 tbsp olive oil,
12 tsp paprika,
1 tsp sea salt,
1 tsp ground black pepper,
5 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbsp pickled jalapeno pepper, chopped
5 slice bacon, cooked and chopped
3 tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream,
1 tbsp tomatoes, diced
12 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tbsp green onion, chopped                             

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place in a bowl. Add olive oil, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper and toss until the potatoes are well coated. Arrange slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, turn over, and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes or until the potatoes are browned and crisp. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Arrange potato slices in a cast iron skillet, slightly overlapping the edges. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, jalapeno pepper, and bacon.

Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove the skillet from the oven and top with Greek yogurt or sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onion.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Guinness Stew

Yesterday was March's Sunday Dinner. Last year I did corned beef and cabbage. This year I decided to do Guinness Stew.

First let me just say I forgot how much I love Guinness. I think I drank more than I should have while cooking. But, I mean, I bought a six pack so I had to test it, right?

FoodNetwork had a recipe that seemed easy and I've not been let down by their recipes before, so we gave it a go. And let me just tell was fantastic. I don't think it had enough of the Guinness flavor so I'd add more of that next time. AND adding tomato paste to a beef stew was magical. I never have done that before and now it's going to be in every stew I ever make.

Guinness Stew
Recipe from FoodNetwork
Serves 6

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ginger Steak Salad

If you know me at all, you know I'm a huge Pioneer Woman fan. She got a bit "over sold" for me for a while and I had to walk away. I've since welcomed her and her wonderful recipes back into my life.

This weekend while cleaning out my own recipe pile I stumbled on to this Ginger Steak Salad. I decided that I'd make it for the book club ladies.

It was not only perfect in that it wasn't heavy and yet was fulfilling, but it was PERFECT in every way.

I love Asian flavor salad dressings that include ginger and garlic, and this one does not disappoint. The recipe is easy and delicious. It will see another rotation in this house again.

Ginger Steak Salad
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sherry
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
1 whole Rib-eye, Strip, Or Sirloin Steak
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
2 cloves Garlic, Finely Diced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Minced
1/2 whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Diced

2 whole Green Onions
8 ounces, weight Salad Greens (baby Lettuce, Endive, Radiccio, Etc.)

JW Note: I added cucumber and tomato to the salad as well.

Combine steak marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Mix and place steak into bag. Marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Combine salad dressing ingredients and slice green onion.

When steak is finished marinating, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a hot skillet. Cook steak about 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until medium rare. Remove from skillet and keep on a plate, allowing to cool slightly.

Toss salad greens in 3/4 of the salad dressing. Place steak on cutting board and slice thinly, then pour juices from the plate over the top. Mound tossed salad on a platter, then place sliced steak on top of salad. Pour remaining salad dressing over the top. Sprinkle green onions over the salad, and add cherry tomatoes if that makes your skirt fly up.