German Lentil Soup

On January 14, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I lived in Portland, Oregon for 12 years growing up and one of my favorite places was The Rheinlander.  Our family would often do their Sunday Brunch, which is still the best brunch I’ve ever had. The restaurant also has an amazing cheese fondue that was reason number one to go there.  With so many great things, it was easy to overlook one of their best dishes – Lentil Soup.

Fortunately, chef Horst Mager published a cookbook years ago and I was sure to buy one last time I was in town.

Someone posted the recipe for the Lentil Soup on AllRecipes.com.  I highly recommend cooking this one and put up against your favorite lentil soup. If you have found better, please share. Otherwise, enjoy this wonderful German version then make some Wiener Schnitzel and Cheese Fondue.

Full Recipe: Rheinlander Lentil Soup.

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#SundaySupper Beer-Braised Beef

On November 3, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
64

Here in California with temperatures falling into the upper 70s it is getting that time of year for a hearty stew or soup.

Alright, so it doesn’t feel like the time of year for a stew. Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter what the temperature is outside. I always enjoy a rich, chunky stew.  The melding of flavors is always a joy and while it used to fit better with the cold air of Michigan winter in November back when our family lived there, so what. Even if we spent this afternoon having ice cream at Sprinkles in Beverly Hills and enjoying some Neapolitan pizza at 800 Degrees in Westwood, it was great ending the day with some beer-braised beef.

This simple recipe is a Belgium response to France’s Beef Bourguignon.

Beer-Braised Beef
Serves 4

2 large onions, rough chop
3 lbs stew beef
1/2 cup flour
4 bacon slices, diced
2 tablespoons oil
1 bottle of beer, brown-ale works best
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven at 325 degrees.

Mix stew beef, salt, pepper and flour in a plastic bag to coat the meat.  Heat the oil in a dutch oven on the stove at medium-high heat.  Add the beef without crowding. Cook and turn to brown sides and remove to a plate while adding more uncooked beef remembering not to crowd the pot.

Once all of the beef is brown, add the bacon to the pot and cook making sure not to burn, about 3 minutes. Add the onions and mix  with the bacon then add the already browned stew beef back to the dutch oven.

Add the ale and beef stock.  Bring to a boil and scrape up any brown bits in pot.  Stir in brown sugar, vinegar, bay leaf and thyme. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the mixture to a boil and cover. Transfer to the oven and let it cook for 2 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaf and add some cooked carrots and potatoes if you desire.

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Root Vegetables and Lentils in Mustard Sauce

On July 20, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is an adaptation of a recipe I posted before: Lentils with Turnip, Leeks and Carrots.

I made a few edits since I’m still doing my series on “Hotel Home Cooking.” Much of the original recipe was followed; however, I lacked cloves and red wine vinegar plus I had some yellow zucchini that I added to the carrots, leeks, and garlic.

The final result isn’t that attractive. Fortunately, the flavors are rich with the Dijon mustard vinaigrette that’s added at the end.

This is a good recipe too since it is affordable and makes enough for a couple evenings.

 

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Moroccan Couscous with Saffron

On May 18, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
2

I’m not much of a celebrity follower.  Though I have come to enjoy one celebrity’s blog covering some great vegetarian food choices and recipes. Actress Alicia Silverston is anything but Clueless when it comes to finding good things to eat.

This recipe is a simple roasted vegetable medley with butternut squash, zucchini, carrots and onions atop of some saffron and cumin flavored couscous is a great way to get your vegetables and protein.

It’s definitely worth trying out and be sure to checkout some other recipes from her website. I have my next selection already picked out – Mardi Gras Jambalaya.

Full Recipe: Kinds Classics Moroccan Couscous with Saffron.

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Last Christmas I asked for some new cookbooks to add to my bookshelf.  With the change to making vegetarian/vegan 4 times each week, I thought some updated cookbooks in my meat-focused cookbook collection would be welcome.

One book that kept coming up is Veganomicon many reviews felt it is the essential vegan cookbook on the mark and the subtitle even makes the not-so-subtle claim of being “The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.”

I made a couple recipes this past week. The first is vegan enchilada recipe that uses kale and potatoes.  The other is a leek and navy bean with biscuits recipe that reminds me of a meatless, no dairy version of a light chicken and biscuit recipe I also have on this blog.

Of the two, the biscuit vegetables and bean dish was excellent. One of the best vegan recipes I’ve ever had.

Veganomicon is definitely worth picking up.  I have a ton of recipes I still need to get too.  Fortunately the first two recipes turned out great.  I look forward to more ultimate vegan success!

Find out more about the book and buy it here!

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Crock Pot: Pot Roast

On January 15, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

We had a lot of running around to do Saturday after I spent most of the week away from home at the Consumer Electronics Show. While I enjoy shows like CES and trying some new places, including a gas station taco shop in Vegas, I couldn’t wait to get home and back to cooking my own food. Five days of dinning out is miserable in Vegas. Honestly, I’ve never had a great meal there, with the celebrity chef restaurants always being the most disappointing.

Wanting something easy and ready after all the errands makes the crock pot the perfect solution. Plus I had a beautiful Top Sirloin Roast from Burgundy Pasture Beef.

My roast was only a 1 pound roast. I followed the exact ingredients here since I wanted a healthy amount of vegetables and plenty of sauce. Only adjustment is I cooked the roast for 8 hours on low instead of 10.

The following recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.

Pot Roast

6 medium carrots, cut into thirds
2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
1 beef chuck roast (3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 diced garlic clove
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

In a slow cooker, stir together cornstarch, broth, wine, thyme, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Add carrots and onions; season with salt and pepper, and toss.

Sprinkle roast with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; place on top of vegetables.

Cover; cook on high, 6 hours (or on low, 10 hours.)

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Mission Accomplished: Best Beef Stew Ever.

On December 12, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
3

I love stew.  With winter finally settling in here in Dallas, yes I can hear the moaning from all my friends in Detroit, it’s the right time to start cooking stew.  I also opened up one of my Christmas gifts early since we were not going to drive to Michigan with it for the holidays and well I knew what it was because I’m the one who ordered it.  So, with some 40 degree temps this past week and a new La Creute Dutch Oven, it was time to find a new beef stew recipe.

Enter Google.

Yes, I actually found this recipe doing a Google search and it showed up in the top few results.  The Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes recipe from the Once Upon a Chef blog leveled whatever recipes I have in cookbooks, stuffed in files, or saved on a computer. This is the best beef stew I’ve ever made or tasted.

This is the beauty of the Dutch Oven

Fortunately, it’s pretty simple too and finds the right blend of wine, broth and water for a richly covered sauce. Meanwhile the beef nicely falls apart and the potatoes and carrots are done to perfection.

If you have been looking for the perfect beef stew recipe, try this. I doubt you’ll be disappointed and quite possibly, like me, you’ll be throwing away the other recipes that never quite satisfied.

Full Recipe: Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes.

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Moroccan Quinoa Pilaf

On April 20, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0


This week I decided to cook from some other food bloggers. Last night I went with a quinoa recipe from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen blog.

I made a few minor changes due to Whole Foods being out of Kale last Sunday. We had picked up some locally grown Swiss Chard at a market in McKinney, TX called Local Yocal. I also did not have the Herbamare Ingredient but the dish tasted great regardless. I was also low on currants and went with a blend of golden raisins and dried cranberries.

Click here for the full recipe:
Moroccan Quinoa Pilaf

 

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Jamaican Chicken Curry

On July 19, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0


I can hardly believe it’s been two months since my last post. It must be a busy summer. Fortunately, this week I decided to catch-up on some cooking magazine reading and ventured into Martha’s Food magazine that has an excellent stew recipe in its May 2009 issue.

The following recipe has some “kick, but just enough to make it intense, yet not insane” as my wife said while we enjoyed a couple plates. Three tablespoons of Indian curry did the trick (the recipe calls for Jamaican curry but I only some hot curry powder from a local Indian market.) Also, I went with organic frozen peas that I think add a nice sweet flavor to the dish. We also spent the morning at the local Farmer’s Market and picked up some great onions, carrots and garlic – all perfect for this recipe. The carrots were like butter.

Jamaican Chicken Curry
Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
coarse salt and pepper
1 medium onion, rough chop
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
4 carrots, bite-sized sliced at an angle
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 cup water
1 package (10 oz) frozen peas
Cooked rice for serving

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, brown the chicken, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, cumin, curry, thyme and 1/2 cup water and season with pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 3-5 minutes.

Add carrots, frozen peas, coconut milk, 1/2 cup water and chicken with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve over rice.

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Country Cider Hot-Pot

On February 23, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0


Sunday night was a birthday party for my twin boys. We were having some family over so I decided to try something new and something that could just sit in an oven for a hour and not need a lot of attention.

The original recipe from a cookbook I own called for rabbit for this dish, I decided to go with boneless skinless chicken breast instead. Also, I found that the cider really needs to be increased about another cup (the recipe below includes the extra amount of cider so please use about 3 cups of cider, get it to where it just covers the chicken and vegetables.)

 

 

Country Cider Hot-Pot
Serves 4

2 tsp flour
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds
2 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
15 baby onions
4 strips of bacon, chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 cups apple cider
3 carrots, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
12 ready-to-eat pitted prunes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag, add the chicken pieces and shake until coated. Set aside.

2. Heat the butter and oil in a flame-proof casserole and add the onions and bacon. Fry for 4-5 minutes, until the onions have softened. Remove with a straining spoon and set onions and bacon aside.

3. Fry the seasoned chicken pieces in the oil until they are browned all over, then spread a little of the mustard over the top of each piece with a spoon (doesn’t have to be perfect.)

4. Return the onions and bacon to the pan. Pour on the cider and a add the carrots, parsnips, prunes, rosemary and bay leaf. Add more cider if food is not covered with liquid. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 1 hour until tender.

5. Remove rosemary and bay leaf and serve with mash potatoes.

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