Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beef Stew #soupswappers

Let's enjoy beef stew one last time before the heat sets in!  Putting together a post that featured English Stew was a challenge.  Not because it was English Stew but because I am traveling back and forth between my home in California and my daughter in Washington.

Yes, English Stew is the theme for this month's Saturday Soup Swappers!  The Saturday Soup Swappers is a group of bloggers brought together by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. The group gets together on the third Saturday of the month to share soups or stews based on a theme selected by one of the members. This Saturday is hosted by Sneha at Sneha's Recipe.  If you are interested in joining in on the fun, follow the link above for more information. All are welcome!

I guess I had a hard time dealing with stew, weather and traveling.  My first idea was a Pumpkin and Lentil Stew that really intrigued me but I kept thinking fall so I switched to Beef Stew and Dumplings and still had issues thinking about the weather...but hey, I'm in Seattle, nothing stays the same for long....a nice storm moved in...rain, fog, fog horns, winds just the kind of weather that goes with stew!  But, don't expect dumplings.  Somehow the four year old was focused on the mashed potatoes so dumplings never happened.

Of course there is more to the story than a four year old, there is always the story of ovens. I believe that I just had my last dance with this oven.  The kitchen remodel at my daughter's is set to begin.

I hope you enjoy the richness of this wonderful beef stew and if you can't make the dumplings, don't forget fluffy mashed potatoes!  I can hardly wait for leftovers!



Beef Stew
adapted from Nigel Slater

Yield:  4 servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds lean stew meat, cut into bite size pieces
2-3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, peeled, rough chop
2 leeks, white and light green only, cleaned and sliced into half moons.
3 celery ribs, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
3/4 cup peas
3/4 cup red wine
2 1/4 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
3 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce or to taste, if desired
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven:  350° F.

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter.  Add the stew meat and brown on all sides.

Sprinkle the flour over the beef and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and the vegetables. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.  Note:  I added the peas after the stew was removed from the oven.

Stir in the wine, stock, and herbs.  Add the worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, adjust to taste. Add the salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil.  Cover with a lid and place in the oven for two hours.  (Check the liquid level occasionally.  Add additional stock if needed.)

To serve place a scoop of mashed potatoes in each bowl.  Add a ladle of stew and sprinkle with parsley.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


We really enjoyed this stew and the four year old did too!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Doll up that Lettuce Wedge!

The wedge salad of the 50's and 60's moves in and out of favor.  The salad, though, did not originate then.  The earliest mention of the lettuce wedge salad was found in a cookbook published in 1916. Marion Neil's cookbook, Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Recipes mentions the wedge salad with Roquefort cheese and hard boiled eggs.  It's popularity fluctuates with the times but it hasn't disappeared.

The wedge salad today has many guises.  There will always be the original but it can be dolled up to reflect most cuisines.  It can have a Mediterranean look with a vinaigrette and cucumbers, kalamata olives, tomatoes and feta sprinkled over the top.  Or it may have a more España appearance as this salad does.  Add a little corn and red pepper salsa made fresh from the garden, a few tomatoes, some manzanilla olives and a few crushed tortilla chips for a little crunch and you have a lovely wedge dolled up for the evening!


Salad Wedge with Corn and Red Pepper Salsa
adapted from The Good Stuff by Spike Mendelsohn

Serves 4

Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 red onion, rough chop
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup vegetable oil

In a blender, combine all ingredients except the oil.  When combined, leave the motor running and slowly drizzle the oil in a slow, thin stream.  When the oil has been added and the mixture is smooth, turn off the blender and set aside.

Corn and Red Pepper Salsa
2 ears of fresh white corn, grilled, kernels removed or 1 can of corn (16 oz.)
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2  cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

If using canned corn, drain.  Cook kernels in a hot skillet with a tablespoon of oil.   Cook about 10 minutes until kernels are crisp.  Season with salt.  Set aside to cool.

When ready to serve, combine the all ingredients.  Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce
5 oz bag of baby mixed greens
8 manzanilla olives
1 pint mini heirloom tomatoes or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 green onion, sliced diagonally
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Corn and Red Pepper Salsa
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

Remove the root end from the lettuce.  Cut the head in half.  From the half head, cut wedges to serving size.  (I cut the half head into four wedges.)  Spread out some of the mixed greens on the salad plates and place the wedge on top.  Dress the wedge with about 2 Tablespoons of dressing.  Top each wedge with two olives, tomatoes, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Add about 1/3 cup corn and red pepper salsa to the top and then garnish with slices of green onion and a Tablespoon of crushed tortilla chips.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


This was a delicious salad and I am happy that I have enough ingredients left over to repeat the creation tonight!