Saturday, November 29, 2008

Guido Olives

I made these for Thanksgiving this year and they were a hit. I got this recipe from the Food Networks Guy Fieri.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup garlic cloves, cut in halves
1/4 red onion, julienned
1/4 red bell pepper, julienned
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, cut in 1/2
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 cup large Spanish olives
1/2 cup black olives, seeded
1/2 cup kalamata or jumbo gaeta olives, seeded
1/4 cup whole pepperoncini
1/2 cup baby carrots
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a medium saute pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, garlic, onions, red bell peppers, rosemary, chili flakes, and peppercorns. Let saute for 10 minutes.
Add olives, pepperoncini, carrots and vinegar, stir and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat. Serve warm.

Turkey Stock

Just like every year I was able to take the turkey carcass home from my folks Thanksgiving feast. Mom usually makes a 30 pound bird so this is an enormous carcass. I did something different this year and used my 7 quart crock pot to make the stock and am glad I did. I will never make this stock any other way. It came out perfectly.

Trim all of the usable meat off of the carcass (save for the soup you will want to make with this stock). Remove and discard all visible fat and skin. Place bones in crock pot, cover with cold water. Add a chopped onion, 2 chopped celery stalks, a chopped carrot, 3 bay leaves, and 1 TBSP whole peppercorns. Cover, set crock pot to high and cook for 6-7 hours. Strain stock and cool. When cool stock should be gelatinous. I usually remove the thin layer of fat on the top.

This freezes very well. This is the type of stock you want to have around when someone in the house has a cold or flu. Steve says that if you feed this stock to a person on their death bed than they will live another ten years. Enjoy it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chicken Tikka Masala

My friend Colleen asked that I post this recipe. I made it for a pot luck dinner with an Indian cuisine theme. I got the recipe from and it came out great. I did not do anything to spare the calories (I used the heavy cream).

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat a grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Beef Bourguignon

I fired up the crock pot again this morning with this classic. Like beef stew, use a tougher cut of meat such as chuck or bottom round.

I make this in my 7 quart crock pot.

Trim 4 pounds of stew beef into 1 inch cubes. Get rid of visible fat.

Mix 1 cup of flour with several grinds of black pepper, 2 tsp. thyme, 2 tsp. granulated garlic, 2 tsp. paprika.

Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large skillet. Working in batches (this morning I did 4 batches in a 10 inch skillet) dredge beef in flour and place in skillet. Allow beef to sear for at least 1 minute on all sides. You should be developing a nice brown color. Transfer to crock pot and do next batch. Add more oil if needed. Do not overcrowd the skillet as you will not get the proper sear and the meat will "juice out".

When all the meat is cooked add 2 pounds of peeled pearl onions and 2 12 ounce packages of fresh mushrooms (sliced in half) to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes. Transfer to crock pot.

Deglaze the skillet with 1 bottle of red wine (Burgundy, Cabernet). Bring to a boil and add to crock pot. Add 3 cups of beef stock to crock pot. Add 4 cloves of garlic, diced, 2 tsp. thyme and 4 bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (more or less). Dish is done when the beef is very tender.

When finished cooking you can eat as is but I like to transfer most of the juice to a sauce pan and reduce (by 1/3) on the stove to concentrate the flavor. I also like to skim any fat that floats to the top. Then I add the reduced defatted juice back to the beef.

Tonight I am serving this with whole wheat egg noodles. Enjoy.