May 26, 2008

Beef Stew

Kristin in MT, May 21, comment in “Playing With Your Food”

(makes a big pot-full (8qt?)– freezes beautifully)

3# beef (stew meat is okay, though I prefer to use a sirloin or chuck roast), cut into 1″ cubes)
1/4 c. flour (whole wheat okay), seasoned with salt and pepper

3 carrots, medium, sliced into 1/4″ rounds (peel ’em if you like — I do, Stef doesn’t)
1 onion, large, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
5 potatoes, medium (red or yellow), chopped into 1″ pieces
1 beet, large, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
3-6 cloves garlic, minced (pick your own garlic comfort level)
(optional) 1/3 c dried porcini mushrooms, ground to dust in a food processor or spice grinder

3 bay leaves
2 rosemary sprigs, about 7″

2 qts. beef broth (I like Pacific or Swanson’s Organic)
1 bottle red wine (a nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)(may omit — replace with 3 c. water or broth)

Place seasoned flour in a big pot. Add beef and stir well to coat. Add the vegetables, optional mushroom dust, herbs , broth and wine to the pot. Stir. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for as long as you can stand it or about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs (which are most likely just sticks now) before serving.

This keeps really well in the fridge, right in the pot (lidded). Reheat leftovers on med-low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally.

the Reign of the Brussel Sprout (long may it rule).

Kristin in MT, 7th May 2008, comment to “Eat your veg”

Properly cooked brussel sprouts were a revelation to me. Stef likes to cook ‘em by splitting them in half and searing them in butter so that the cut sides are browned and crispy and the little backs are just tender and succulent and then, oh my, how we do feed.

Restaurant-Style Miso

Kristin in MT, 28 April 08, comment to ‘Ruby’s memorable first trip to England’

8 oz. water
a pinch of bonito flakes (a little goes a long way, says Stef the Chef)
1/2 tsp wakame (seaweed)

1″ – 2″ cube of tofu, diced into 1/4″ cubes
1 T. miso (any kind is fine, but light or white miso is traditional)
1/4″ – 1/2″ green onion, finely sliced

Bring water, bonito flakes and wakame to a boil in a small saucepan. Boil 1 minute, then take pan off heat. Stir in tofu then let stand 1 minute. Add miso and stir well to dissolve. Pour into bowl and sprinkle green onions on top. Fast, easy and delicious!

Notes: if using dashi miso, skip the bonito flakes as dashi miso already includes bonito flakes.

(serves 1)

Miso soup

Kristin in MT, 19 April, comment to ‘food heroine’

The secret, if I remember correctly, is bonito flakes which you boil briefly to make a broth.

I’ve also made a simple but tasty miso broth by putting a spoonful of miso into not-quite-boiling water, which can be dressed up with some chopped green onions, a little chopped tofu, whatever is on hand. Miso is so very versatile (and so very good for you).

Addendum by Robin, 20 April

I tend to like squashed marinated tofu–I can post this some day–you press the tofu between a couple of cutting boards at an angle with a weight on top and then marinate it later so it soaks it up better without going to pieces. Cut in small cubes and fry gently–these will then keep a week or so in your fridge–and a few of these make your miso soup sing. :)