April 18, 2014

I've got the rainy day stews...

What else do you do on rainy days than come back to your long-lost blog? I've exhausted every other to-do list, and so I'm here.

And, in light of how unseasonably cold it has been, I made a couple of stews (and cornbread, of course!). So, with tummy full and nothing else to do, I'm jotting down what I came up with today:

Stew #1: Pork Curry Stew

You'll need:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 Tablespoon curry powder
1/2 Tablespoon ground bitter pepper
1/2 Tablespoon ground sweet red pepper
8 oz. (250 g) pork, cut into 1/2-in. (1.5-cm) cubes
32 oz. (1 L) water* + chicken bouillon cubes**
3 med. potatoes, cut into 1/2-in. (1.5-cm) cubes
salt + pepper to taste

FRY: Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, stir, and fry for another minute. Add crushed red pepper, curry powder, ground bitter pepper, and ground sweet red pepper, and stir until onion and garlic are covered in spices. Fry and stir for 3-4 minutes, scraping the drippings off the bottom of the pot. Add the pork cubes, stir to combine, and fry until they are cooked through.

STEW: Add the water, bouillon cubes, potatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Simmer on low, covered for at least 30 minutes. The longer it sits, the better it gets!

SERVE: Ladle and serve. This goes perfectly with cornbread muffins.

YIELD: 4-5 servings

Stew #2: Beef + Red Wine Stew

You'll need:
4 Tablespoons butter
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt + pepper to taste
8 oz. (250 g) beef steak, cut into 1/2-in. (1.5-cm) cubes
2 cups red wine
2 medium carrots, quartered and chopped
10 oz. can sliced mushrooms + liquid
1 medium potato, cut into 1/2-in. (1.5-cm) cubes
16 oz. (500 ml) water* + bouillon cubes**
1/4 teaspoon thyme

FRY: Heat butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, salt + pepper, stir, and fry for another minute. Add beef and fry until cooked through, stirring and scraping the drippings off the pot periodically.

STEW: Add the red wine, carrots, mushrooms + liquid, potato, water + bouillon, and thyme. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for at least an hour, covered.

SERVE: Ladle and serve.  This ALSO goes great with cornbread.

YIELD: 5-6 servings

*you can use leftover broth, whey, etc.
**my bouillon cubes are for 16 oz. (500 ml) of water

We had both of these today - had to keep warm somehow!  Hope you enjoy them just as much as we did.

Ciao for now!

Classic Cornbread Muffins

I discovered this recipe in my More-with-less cookbook a few years ago and found out that it can easily also be gluten-free! We tried gluten-free for a while and this was a major go-to. Now, we still use it because it's just so darn tasty.

You'll need:
1 cup white flour (or any gluten-free flour)
1 cup cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (this is for gluten-free recipe only)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk

PREP: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 12-muffin tin (or 2 6-muffin tins) and set aside.

DRY: Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar, and xanthan gum (if necessary) in a medium mixing bowl. Create a well and set aside.

WET: In a small mixing bowl, combine he oil, eggs, and milk. Stir well.

COMBINE: Pour the wet ingredients in the dry ingredient well, and stir to combine. Pour evenly into the greased muffin tin(s). Bake for 20-25 minutes (gluten-free version usually only needs 20 minutes) or until lightly golden brown on top.

YIELD: 12 muffins

These are tasty with butter, honey, peanut butter, or just by themselves.