A very simple recipe, just a handful of ingredients, any of which you may already have on hand! This recipe uses a little more oil than usual to get that “fried” preparation.
Green Beans, about 30ea, washed
Onion, 1/4ea, julienned
Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
Smoked Paprika, ~1tbl
Olive Oil, ~3tbl – enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan
With heat on high, add the olive oil to the pan and cook the beans until wilted and brown, about 6 minutes, seasoning with salt. Add the onion, then after a minute the garlic, and continue to cook until the onion is soft. Turn the heat off, and add the paprika to the hot pan. The hot oil will toast the spice and it should smell very aromatic. Set aside and serve warm.
Side note – If you leave the pan on the heat for too long the paprika may burn and become very bitter.
I like vegetables. I love to roast them, or saute them with garlic. Simply prepared veggies don’t take much time and they taste great. Here I have sauteed some mushrooms and broccoli florets with garlic, cherry tomatoes, and then toward the end threw the kale in the pan and added water to steam and slightly wilt the kale. Delicious!
This was the easiest think I made this week. I was shopping through Trader Joes and found a premixed bag of chopped kale and raw cruciferous vegetables and had planned on making a dressing at home. However I thought I’d take a look to see what they had for dressings on the shelves and came upon a fig balsamic vinaigrette and thought that sounded pretty good. All I did for this salad was dress it with the vinaigrette! It keeps wonderfully in the fridge and gets better with each passing day as the kale and brussels sprouts get softer and more flavorful as it sits.
Cauliflower is easy to make delicious to begin with, and roasting it takes it to a whole new level. I have spiced this one with some spicy curry powder, sort of a classic combo. You’ll see a lot of menu preparations at restaurants that will likely include pine nuts and maybe some golden raisins, which you can add if you like. This time, I made a quick stop at the grocery store and used what I had leftover in my fridge. There is really not much to this simple recipe.
1 Head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bunch scallions, whites cut into 1 inch pieces, greens sliced thinly
1 shallot, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 button mushrooms, sliced
1-1/2 tbl curry powder
1 lemon, juice
olive oil, to coat
salt and pepper
Begin by preheating your oven to 400. Cut up cauliflower to bite sized pieces, and toss with the olive oil, and curry powder. Roast for about 5-6 minutes, and add the white parts of your scallion, your sliced shallot, and your mushrooms. Continue to roast until the cauliflower starts to brown around the edges, and the rest of your vegetables are almost cooked. Add your garlic, and continue to cook for another two minutes. Try to time when you add your garlic so that your veggies don’t overcook. When the vegetables have finished cooking, squeeze the juice of one lemon over them for some acidity.
And there it is. Can be eaten hot or cold, and served with a dollop of seasoned yogurt.
To begin, purchase a high quality chuck roast from your local supermarket. I get mine from whole foods. Sure, it is more expensive, but the quality is much much better. They way I justify this is if I can get 5 or 6 meals out of this recipe, my food cost is quite low in fact, for a preparation like this.
Unwrap your meat and prepare your pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, making sure the pan is big enough to fit the roast comfortable with room on the sides. If it is too small for the pan, it will start to steam the meat instead of caramelize, and this will compromise flavor. There are several trains of thought on seasoning. I don’t season my meat before I sear as the salt pulls moisture out, thus preventing a better sear.
After searing the meat, turn your heat to medium high, and saute your mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion) and mushrooms to the pan. You’ll want to cook these for about 5-7 minutes, until they get nice and brown.
After your vegetables caramelize, season them with salt, and pepper if you like. With heat on medium/high, add garlic, and saute for another two minutes. Then, tomato paste, for two more minutes. Add your all purpose flour, then cook for at least two minutes. The flour is going to thicken the stew, but you don’t want any sort of raw flour flavor in you finished product, so cooking it before you add your liquid is very important.
Add your wine. Bring this mixture up to a fast simmer to cook out some of that harsh alcohol, and reduce the wine a little bit. I’m using a Cabernet Sauvignon, which stands up nicely to red meat. I’d use a heavier dry red if you are able.
Don’t worry too much if you can smell some alcohol evaporating, as this dish is going to simmer for a long time and this will eventually cook out during that process.
Now, add your three cups of stock. I’m using a chicken broth that is very tasty, beef broth will be just as good. I have also added a 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes. You can add whole chopped tomatoes if you have some nice ripe ones. With the stock, it is important to purchase no or low sodium versions. While the pot simmers, the liquid will get saltier and saltier and if it is perfectly seasoned before the meat if finished simmering, you’re going to have a salty sauce, and that would be a big letdown, especially after all of this work.
Now that you have added everything, bring the mixture up to a boil, and then very low heat. You’re looking for a slow bubble. You will want this to braise for at least three hours. Anything less than that and you won’t get a tender piece of meat. If it cook long enough it should almost fall apart with a fork. If you wanted to add potatoes, add them about 30 minutes before you’re going to pull the meat off the heat so they don’t overcook. Taste the sauce and adjust for seasoning. With my roast weighing a little over 2-1/2 lb and having added a couple of potatoes, I have gotten at least six meals out of this recipe. Although it cost me a little extra to purchase high quality meat, it is no problem for me with that in mind. Garnish with parsley, if ya like.