Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beef Stroganoff (Pressure Cooker)

This is pressure cooker recipe - good recipe for a dinner party that doesn't take too long to cook up.

In the cooker, brown 2 lbs of beef stew meat or round steak (cut into 1" cubes) in 3 TBLS of oil. Add 2 TBLS of flour and mix well. Then stir in the following and blend thoroughly:
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp of garlic
  • 1/4 lb of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 TBLS tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup of beef broth
  • 1 TBLS Worchestire sauce
Close the lid and bring to pressure; cook 20 minutes. In a separate pot, boil water and cook 1 pkg of egg noodles. After 20 minutes, release the pressure and remove the lid. Stir in 1 cup of sour cream and blend well. Serve over hot egg noodles.

Risotto with Peas

This recipe is for a pressure cooker - 13 min to a pretty decent risotto on a cold night when you need some comfort food to go with that roast chicken.

In the cooker, heat 2 TBLS of butter over medium heat. Saute 1 small onion - finely chopped - for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Stir frequently so the onion does not brown. Add the 1 cup of Arborio rice (or other short grained rice) and saute until light brown. Add 1 cup of frozen peas and 2 1/4 cup of chicken broth; stir well. Close the lid and bring to pressure. Lower the heat and cook for 7 to 13 minutes. (some cookers have two positions the times are for Position 1 and 2 respectively)

Release the pressure and open the lid. Stir in an additional 1 TBLS of butter, 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1/8 tsp of black pepper. Let sit until butter and cheese melts then stir thoroughly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

White Beans and Chard

This is with many thanks to my good friend Diane N. We came home to my house for dinner one night with a whole fish to cook (a Shad I think.) We were tired after a whole day of cooking at Alberta's, and this is what Diane came up with for a side dish that combined vegetables and stick to your ribs carbs all in one. I think that we used spinach, but I love it with swiss chard best. Really any green is great.

Clean your greens. If you are using chard or kale tear the leaves into bite sized pieces save the stalks and chop coarsely.
Put a couple of tablespoons of good (extra virgin) olive oil in a deep sauté pan on low heat. Crush a few cloves of garlic and cook very slowly till garlic is light golden. Add the stalks add to pan with a pinch of crushed red pepper. Sauté a few more minutes and then add a drained, rinsed can of cannellini beans. Squeeze in juice from a lemon and add a couple of tablespoons of water. Salt and pepper to taste. When the beans are bubbling add the greens. Cover and cook until just tender, taste for seasoning and add a little more oil.
This is good as a leftover. So far everyone has loved this, even kids.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Squash Bread

Cleaning up my office uncovered this delicious bread recipe. Makes 1 big loaf of tender bread, perfect for sandwiches or toasting.

Easily vegan with the use of soy or almond milk and margerine or oil.

Preheat oven to 450

1 cup of pureed squash

2 tsp sugar

11/2 cups of milk

1TLB butter

1 package of dried yeast dissolved in 1TLB of warm water

31/3 to 41/3 cups of bread flour. You can substitute some whole wheat here but the bread will be heavier.

Scald the milk, then mix in the pureed squash, butter, sugar and salt. When this mixture cools to lukewarm add the yeast and enough flour to make a soft supple dough. It should be slightly tacky.

Knead well. (My mother used to say that a well kneaded dough should be as soft and smooth as a baby's bottom. As funny as that sounds it's actually a perfect description)

Let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch it down and shape your loaf. Place in a well oiled bread pan that has been sprinkled with a little cornmeal of whet germ, and let sit in a warm place until it is well risen over the top of the bread pan.

Place in the oven to bake lowering the temp to 425 after the first 15 minutes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cathy O'Brien's Irish Soda Bread

This is a recipe from mother procured from a family friend a long time ago and that I make quite often. Luis loves raisin toast in the morning for breakfast and this makes two loaves so it lasts a couple of weeks.

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Sift together:
6 cups flour
3 TBLS baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1-2 cups raisins
Mix together and add:
1 egg
2 TBLS oil or melted butter
2 cups milk

Grease and flour two bread pans. Separate dough as equally as possible and bake until tops are brown. Test doneness by tapping the bottom of the loaf for a "hollow" sound.

* This recipe is a good way to use milk that might be a bit sour.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vegan Feast; Baked Tofu and Vegetable Medley

Luis and I are by no means vegan but every once in a while I forget to defrost meat and have to make due. More and more of my friends seem to be discovering they have food allergies or just want to try to go vegan for awhile, so this meal is for you.

I recently discovered a recipe for Oven-Baked Tofu that is incredibly easy and tasty. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take a typical package of tofu, remove from water and pat dry with paper towels. Place block of tofu on a pie dish (or something oven safe with sides) and brush with soy sauce. (If you don't have soy sauce you can just salt the block.) Let bake for 1 hour; then slice to serve.

A good accompanying dish is a variety of vegetables - also baked. For this combination, I used the following;
  • 3 medium zucchinis, sliced
  • 3 small summer squash, sliced
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • half large onion, sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon celery flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of the baking dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the vegetables, spinkle with herbs, salt and pepper and toss with 2 TBLS to 1/4 cup of olive oil. (Use more or less olive oil per your preference.) Place in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees and bake for an hour.

You can use any combination of vegetables and herbs you want here. It is all about what you have around and want to mix.

Finally, I cooked up some quinoa - which a grain-like seed that is high in protein and has a pleasant, nutty flavor. It's easy to cook; boil 2 cups of water or stock, add 1 cup of quinoa, lower temperature and simmer for 10 minutes or until all the liquid is gone.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Orange Juice Small Grain

Let me preface this by first saying that while this turned out delicious, there are many things I would have done differently. So, I wasn't sure what the title for this post should be.
I stole this idea from my friend, Cinzia, who brought this to a dinner party last night. She used Israeli couscous, but since I didn't have any on hand and had some orzo pasta, I thought, why not?
Things I Would Have Done Differently #1: Use a grain not a pasta. I think the difference is that there was A LOT of starch in the pasta and since you aren't draining it, the starch stays in the dish and makes it gummier than if you stick to a grain. Cinzia said she made hers in her rice cooker, too. Much easier I would think. The trick she taught me is to cook the grain/pasta in orange juice instead of water or stock. She used half orange juice half carrot juice.
Things I Would Have Done Differently #2: Do not use all orange juice. Orange juice is made up of a lot of sugar, right? When you boil it (and combined with all the starch in the pasta) it gets very thick. Cinzia's dish was more creamy than thick OR gummy. Actually, I think depending on your taste and price range (because carrot juice is pricey, man) you could just use a combo of water and OJ. I think 2/3 OJ to 1/3 water would work. I ended up adding water in the end to finish cooking the pasta.
Next are the shallots. Cinzia just said she fried some shallots. I sauteed them in butter.
Things I (maybe) Would Have Done Differently#3: I might use olive oil next time. It occurred to me that since I plan on serving this cold for my lunch tomorrow and olive oil is a liquid at room temp, using olive oil instead of butter might also have helped the texture of the dish. It's only a LITTLE bit compared the rest of the dish, but it couldn't hurt. The shallots, I think, are the key to this dish. The garlicky/onion taste combined with the sweetness of the juice make the dish. So, whatever else you do, don't forget the shallots.
Cinzia's dish was: Israeli couscous cooked in half OJ, half carrot juice, shelled edamame, sauteed shallots and sliced almonds. It was absolutely delicious!
My pantry's substitutions: Orzo cooked in OJ (eventually slightly diluted with water), shelled edamame, sauteed shallots, chopped peanuts and diced cilantro. Still pretty darn good.
I wish I could give you exact measurements, but I eyeballed everything. Here's a guess:

1 1/2 cups orzo
2 cups orange juice (I would suggest 1 1/2 cups oj and 1/2 cup water or stock)
Extra water to add while stirring the cooking orzo (I ended up cooking it like a risotto, stirring often)
1 cup edamame
2 large shallots sauteed in 3 tsp butter
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Can be served hot or cold.


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