Well the snow kept on coming through the weekend so my thoughts hovered towards warm weather food, stews in particular. A couple of suggestions were made and I settled on making a goulash. It’s easy, I had plenty of time, I had stew meat, and I had onions. I don’t know whether the version I make is authentic but this is the one used in my family.
I started out sautéing 3 onions with a little oil on low heat in a cast iron dutch oven, added a couple of smashed garlic cloves, a little salt, and let the onions soften until translucent, about 10 minutes or so. In the meantime I browned a pound of stew meat in a separate cast iron pan and added the meat to the onions as the pieces were browned. When done I added a little water to the pan, scraped the good stuff on the bottom and added the mixture to the dutch oven. I then added a heaping tablespoon of flour and stirred to coat, shook in about 2-3 tablespoons of paprika, stirred some more, then added two cups of water and a beef bouillon cube.
I then let it simmer on low (1.5-2, mostly covered stirring occasionally), for the entire afternoon – although 2 hours is usually enough. About 40 minutes before dinner time I added a large carrot, diced. Finally I boiled a pot of water and dropped in some egg noodles and cooked according to the package directions. I spooned the goulash over the noodles in a bowl and voilà! A sprinkle of parmesan at the table and we had a hearty dinner perfect for a cold snowy evening.
Posted in Food
Tagged beef, pasta, stew
We took out a pork roast from the freezer a couple of days ago and had it defrosting in the refrigerator, so it was time to use it. Being Sunday I figured I’d roast it as I had the time. I didn’t follow any particular recipe, I simply removed the roast from the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to bring it up to room temperature and after a quick pass through the fridge and cabinet I settled on salt, pepper, thyme, fresh garlic, and some Dijon mustard. The mustard was a little unusual for me but it felt right. Not being one to care much for sweet cooked food I passed on sugar, honey, jam or soda that I read many people like with pork. It just isn’t my thing.
Pork roast browning
To prepare I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and turned on the stove to just over medium (6) and picked a deep cast iron pan I could transfer from the stove to the oven and placed it on the burner. Putting the roast on the cutting board I used a paring knife to make deep slits into every side, and stuffed a slice of garlic into each slit so they sank in all the way (if you don’t they burn when you brown the roast). I then sprinkled and patted down every side with the salt, pepper, thyme, and mustard. The mustard went on last because I wanted the spices to be in direct contact with the meat. After adding a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan I gently put the roast in – to prevent splashing – and browned it for about a minute on each side, and then transferred the pan to the oven for a little over an hour.
At an hour I checked the temperature looking for an internal temperature of around 155 degrees (my thermometer is not very good so I look for 5-10 degrees below what it should actually say) and it still read 140 so I checked again about 20 minutes later. When done I removed the pan from the oven and placed the roast on a clean cutting board – loosely tented under foil – to rest for 10-15 minutes. When I thought I wouldn’t send juices all over the counter top I sliced the meat into thin slices. Some sauteed vegetables and we had a meal.
The great thing about this dish was that although cooking time was somewhere around an hour and a half for just over 3 pounds, prep time was literally about 5 minutes. The pan drippings can be used as an “au jus” sauce, or you can use it as a base to make a gravy. A side of creamy mashed potatoes would have gone nicely as well.
Posted in Food, Recipes
Tagged pork, roast
A couple of weeks ago, I tried to make one of my favorite biscuit recipes gluten-free. It was a bomb. The poor things tasted of baking soda, they were so flat and dry, just sad little things. The whole tray of biscuits went into the garbage. Thankfully, I was smart enough to make a small batch in case they didn’t turn out so it wasn’t a huge loss. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I decided to give it another go. This time I searched for a tried and true gluten-free recipe and the recipe I found did not disappoint (in fact, I’m baking more today). These were tender and sweet (from the maple syrup) and they went perfectly with our sausage and egg breakfast.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
recipe from bon appetit magazine
1 large red-skinned sweet potato (yam; about 1 1/4 pounds), pierced with fork
1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour plus additional for rolling out your dough
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Microwave potato until tender, about 6 minutes per side. Halve; scoop out 1 cup flesh. Cool. Blend 1 1/3 cups flour and next 3 ingredients in processor. Add butter; pulse to coarse meal. Add potato, buttermilk, and syrup; process to blend. Add nuts; pulse to blend. Sprinkle dough with flour. Pat into 81/2-inch square. Cut into 16 biscuits. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes
Notes: I left out the pecans. I used Better Batter flour to make these. I would recommended using a gluten-free blend that is mostly white (such as rice, tapioca, potato starch).