lattice chicken pot pie
Mexican street corn pasta
chicken Ghiveci
creamy chicken tortilla soup, jalapeno jack popovers
butter basted ribeyes, twice baked potatoes, broccoli
brisket tacos, pinto beans
pork souvlaki, naan

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Guinness Beer Bread

I was making Crockpot Guinness Beef Stew and had a fair amount of beer leftover. I figured it wouldn't be the best idea to down the rest of the beer at 8 in the morning, so I decided to bake bread with it.  The bread was so easy, no rise time necessary!  You have fresh baked bread in about an hour, which is the best thing about beer bread.  Miss F was wary of the bread, but once she slathered it in butter, she was sold.  This recipe is adapted from The Black Peppercorn.
Guinness Bear Bread

3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
⅓ cup oats
⅔ cup dark brown sugar
12 ounces Guinness
1 tablespoon oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, 1/3 cup oats and brown sugar. Slowly beat in the Guinness, do not overmix the batter and make sure there aren’t any lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the tablespoon of oats on top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Crockpot TexMex Chicken Stew

One of Miss F's most favorite meals is crockpot chicken enchilada soup. She requests it nearly weekly.  I adapted this recipe from Tracey's Culinary Adventures, but Miss F insisted it was just crockpot chicken enchilada soup, which was quite fine by her.  This recipe was much easier than her favorite, you don't really have to bother with much before it all goes into the crockpot to simmer all day.  I am going to use the trick of microwaving the onions in other crockpot meals, it was a really easy step, but yielded great results.
Crockpot Tex Mex Chicken Stew

½ onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can Rotel
2 tablespoon corn starch
1 ½ teaspoons light brown sugar
2 cups frozen corn
1 (14.5 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Stir together the onion, garlic, tomato paste, oil and chili powder in a microwave safe dish. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer the mixture to the crockpot. Whisk together the broth, Rotel, corn starch and brown sugar; pour into the crockpot. Add the corn and beans to the crockpot, stir to combine. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs, add to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Remove the chicken from the crockpot, shred with two forks and return it to the crockpot. Stir in the chipotle chile, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, topped with avocado slices.
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Baked Steelhead Trout

Miss F first had trout at a restaurant on the Wolfgangsee in Austria. She also had a char that she loved even more.  I took her to the grocer with me and was pleased to see that they had both Rainbow trout and steelhead trout available.  I let Miss F make the choice and she opted for the steelhead.  This portion was mine and I fully figured to eat the leftovers from Miss F, but it turns out, there were none.  She inhaled the fish!  This recipe couldn't be any easier and it resulted in a perfectly cooked fish. It would be equally delicious with char or salmon.  I love that Miss F loves seafood as much as I do, I just wish we could have it more often.

Baked Steelhead Trout

4 steelhead trout filets
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 small lemon
1 teaspoon parsley

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the filets on it. Stir together the butter, juice of half the lemon, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and the parsley. Brush the butter over each filet, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the filets and serve.
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Crockpot Bolognese Sauce

I had planned to make my usual Bolognese, but our life had other plans.  There was just no way to make the cook time work with our schedule.  We had a house showing and not enough time to get the sauce made, not to mention we had a huge TexMex lunch.  So Bolognese was pushed off until the next day, which necessitated finding a recipe for the crockpot...and one that also aligned well with the ingredients I had purchased for my usual recipe.  I used a Skinnytaste recipe as my inspiration, but I made quite a few changes.  It was a huge hit and I loved that it simmered in the crockpot all day instead of simmering on the stove for a couple hours...much easier for me.
Crockpot Bolognese Sauce

3 slices bacon, cut into lardons
½ white onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 pound lean ground beef
¼ cup white wine
1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
salt and fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup half & half

In a skillet, cook the bacon on low heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onions and carrots, cook on medium low until soft, about 5 minutes more. Add the tomato paste, sauté for one minute more. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the ground beef and sauté until browned. Drain off the fat, then add the wine, cook for 3 minutes more. Add the meat mixture to the crockpot, along with the tomatoes and bay leaf. Stir to combine, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in the half and half, taste and add any additional salt and pepper needed, then serve over pasta.
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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cream of Crab Soup

C was gone for a week on business. While he was enjoying meals at Babbo, Le Bernadin and Bagatelle, not to mention a couple days at The Cloister at Sea Island, we had seafood week.  We had lobster carbonara, trout, crab melts and slow baked salmon.  But the best night was the one we celebrated my mom's birthday.  I would usually get the crab meat for cooking from them, so I would know it was fresh picked, but that didn't seem quite right to do for her birthday.  The Costco crab worked great, though it wasn't quite as tasty as the Texas blue crab that we pick.  This recipe is adapted from Old Bay. 
Cream of Crab Soup

¼ cup butter
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
¼ cup flour
4 cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
½ teaspoon parsley
1 pound lump crabmeat
3 tablespoons dry sherry

Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add flour, Old Bay and parsley; whisk until well blended. Whisking constantly gradually add milk. Bring just to boil.

Stir in crabmeat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Stir in the sherry. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay if desired.
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Monday, October 12, 2015

Crockpot Guinness Beef Stew

I am doing a fantastic job imagining it's fall around here. Even though the thermostat reads in the 90s. And I am pretty sure that after we close on our new house this week, we will go swimming in the pool this weekend.  Crockpot stew is an easy way to pretend it's fall.  I loved making it in Aspen, it was perfect to come home to after a day of skiing.  Though here in Houston, it is more like a day of swimming, in October.  I adapted this recipe from Blissfully Delicious.
Crockpot Guinness Beef Stew

1 pound stew beef
¼ cup flour
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
¾ cup Guinness Draught
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 mushrooms, quartered
2 cups frozen peas
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Toss the stew beef with the flour, turning well to coat. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the beef and crown on all sides. Transfer the beef to the crockpot. Add the onions to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broth, Guinness, tomato paste, sugar, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Transfer the skillet contents to the crockpot and add the carrots, potatoes and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, stir in the peas for the last 20 minutes of cook time. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve.
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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

No matter what, I always end up with over ripe bananas on our counter.  Once they get too far gone to eat, they go straight into the freezer so that I can use them later for baked goods.  Miss F went crazy for these treats, having them for breakfast and in her snack bag for school.  There is no mixer needed, so she was able to make them nearly entirely herself.  We are still working on dishing the batter into the muffin cups, it is an acquired skill.  These muffins were adapted from Taste of Home.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 medium ripe bananas
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with the egg, oil and vanilla. Stir in the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, just until moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill 12 paper lined muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Citrus Chicken Thighs

I made quite a few changes from the original recipe so that I could roast potatoes and broccoli along with the chicken thighs.  Miss F had fun squeezing the citrus and she was a big fan of the chicken, as long as hers didn't have any scallions on it.  I roasted the fingerling potatoes in the same pan as the chicken, which provided a nice brightness to them.  It would also work well with carrots in the same pan.  This chicken would also be great on the grill, as long as it is still grilling weather where you are. 
Citrus Chicken Thighs

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

Set aside ¼ cup sliced scallions. Pulse the garlic, citrus zests, citrus juices, soy sauce, oil, salt, and remaining scallions in a food processor until well combined. Set aside ¼ cup of the marinade; place remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill at least 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and place the chicken in a single layer in the dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve the chicken with the reserved scallions and marinade.
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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Roasted Parmesan Butternut Squash

Anyone else out there already thinking of Thanksgiving? If everything works out, we will be in our new home for turkey day this year. And I am so excited because the new house has DOUBLE OVENS. No more crazy rotation schedule while trying to roast a turkey, bake rolls and bake side dishes. There will be room for everything and everything will be cooked at its proper temperature, not some compromised temperature I had to settle for to make everything work. This butternut squash dish from Gourmet is going on my Thanksgiving Day menu. It is incredibly easy to prepare and it tastes like you slaved over it.  The squash can be chopped a day in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to bake.
Roasted Parmesan Butternut Squash

3 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup heavy cream
3 sage leaves
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 2 quart shallow baking dish, toss the squash with the cream, sage, ½ cup of the Parmesan, salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, top with the remaining Parmesan and bake for 20 minutes more, uncovered. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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