One-Pot Creamy Spinach and Lentils

On October 20, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Lentils are a personal favorite in my vegan and vegetarian cooking. I tend to save a lot of recipes that use them on my Pinterest Mostly Vegetarian board (you can follow me on Pinterest here.) A recent save is this lentil and spinach dish I made last week. It’s pretty easy to prepare and can be done after work, since it only takes about 30 minutes or less to prepare.

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I’d recommend serving it with some bread or a simple salad. It comes out more soup like depending on how much you cook down the liquid. I kept quite a bit of the liquid.

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The end result is fantastic and made for a very flavorful dish we are sure to have many more times to come.

Full Recipe: [One-Pot Creamy Spinach and Lentils]

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Crockpot Apple Cider Beef Stew

On October 13, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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With temperatures staying in the 90s, and mostly high 90s, this October it really isn’t feeling like Fall yet.  So, I’ve decided to have Pinterest bring Fall to me. I bought some fresh squeezed apple cider from Whole Foods last Sunday and wanted to use it in a rich, flavorful stew.

After a few searches, I came across this recipe from The Tasty Kitchen. This Apple Cider Stew had everything I was looking for except it didn’t use a crockpot and I wanted to have it cook all day while I was at work.  With some minor tweaks, I made the recipe work for my crockpot. If you want the original recipe, check it out here.

Crockpot Apple Cider Beef Stew
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
salt & pepper
3 white or yukon gold potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4″ slices
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan. Salt and pepper the beef and add to the hot oil pan.  Cook for 5 minutes on each side to brown pieces. Do not crowd the pan.  Once done remove from heat.  Take a gallon size ziploc bag and add the flour, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Add the cooked stew beef to the bag and lock then shake to coat the beef.

Add the potatoes, carrots and onions to the crockpot.  Pour the floured beef out of the bag and into the crockpot.  Add the liquids and some additional salt and pepper.

Cook on low heat for 10 hours or high heat for 5 hours in the crockpot.  When done, if sauce is not as thick as you’d like do the following: Combine 2 tablespoon of cornstarch and 4 tablespoons of water then pour and stir into crockpot mixture and let it cook for another 10 minutes, it doesn’t matter if it’s on high or low heat.

Serve with a hearty bread.

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Tarragon Potato Salad

On August 17, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Summer is ending and with that comes the time of year when people try to get in the last summer picnics.  We were in Northern Michigan last week attending a BBQ at my brother in-law’s place and asked to bring a dish.  It had been awhile since I’ve made a potato salad, but there was something so good sounding when thinking about a fresh made potato salad.

I found some Tarragon at the local Farmer’s Market in Northport, Michigan.  There were some fresh shallots for sale too.

One of the great things about potato salad is how easy and versatile of a dish it is.  I’m not a fan of potato salads with egg whites, but if you are you can add some chopped egg whites to this.  Also feel free to add other vegetables like celery or carrots.

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Tarragon Potato Salad
Serves 6-8

3 lbs white or red potatoes, cubed into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large shallot, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Tarragon
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 10-12 minutes until cooked, but still firm not mushy. Drain and set aside.

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Add potatoes, mayonnaise, shallot, and Tarragon to a large bowl.  Mix and add some salt and pepper to taste.

Serve.

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My new job is surround by some great food choices including my favorite grocery stores Erewhon and Whole Foods. I stopped by Whole Foods after work and quickly bought a few things including some Mary’s Organic chicken though I accidentally grabbed a package of tenders instead of split boneless chicken breasts.  Of course I didn’t realize the mistake until I arrived home.

I had some morel mushrooms I bought at the Studio City Farmer’s Market and thought I had some heavy cream to make a rich mushroom cream sauce. Sadly the heavy cream I had expired.  So there I was with tenders and no cream or milk in the kitchen expecting to make chicken breasts with a morel mushroom cream sauce.  My first thought was to bread the tenders and just make some chicken tenders with some homemade bbq I had, but my wife said use the morels and so I started to improve tonight’s dinner.

The final result is the following with some green beans and what I’m calling “smashed potatoes” which is basically boiled potatoes with some olive oil, butter and salt and pepper mashed.

Chicken Tenders with Morel Mushroom Reduction
Serves 4

1 lb chicken tenders
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, white only
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

8 morel mushrooms, rough chop
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine
4 tablespoons butter

Heat sauté pan on medium-high heat adding the 1 tablespoons of olive oil and butter. Mix the egg white and orange juice together in a shallow bowl to use for dipping chicken tenders in before dredging with bread crumbs.  Take each chicken tender dip in egg white and orange juice mixture and then roll around in bread crumbs to cover and add immediately to sauté pan. Continue until pan is full.  Cook each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Place finished pieces on plate and continue to add more tenders to the pan until all are made.

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After the tenders are all cooked, add garlic and morel mushrooms.  Cook for a minute and then add the white wine.  Let the liquid reduce by half in about 1 or 2 minutes then add the butter and turn off medium-high heat letting butter melt to create a sauce.

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Plate the potatoes you made in the center and then place chicken tenders on top and green beans on the side.  Pour some of the morel mushroom sauce over the tenders and potatoes.

Enjoy!

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The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast

On December 31, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Christmas Day is a perfect day for a pot roast and especially one I have had on my short list for most of 2014. I loved the simplicity of The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast recipe I had ran across searching Pinterest one day. I added some potatoes to it since I like a little more than just carrots and onions. I simply cook potatoes in a small saucepan for 10 minutes in boiling water and add it to the dutch oven in the last 30 minutes before the recipe is done.

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I followed the rest of the recipe as stated on The Pioneer Woman’s blog. You definitely want to use fresh herbs for this one, so don’t forget to pick some up at the market.

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The combination of red wine and beef stock makes a beautiful gravy. This is a perfect pot roast and pretty hard to screw up. Good luck and Happy New Year!

Full Recipe: [Perfect Pot Roast]

 

 

 

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Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole #SundaySupper

On January 15, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is what I was going to make for last week’s #SundaySupper theme celebrating the One Year Anniversary of what “Family Foodie” Isabel started out as a friendly twitter conversation talking about what people were cooking on Sunday evenings.

I loved the early chats, since Sunday was a guaranteed day I’d be in the kitchen when the weekend came to a close. See our family eats mostly home cooked meals. We don’t do a lot of dining out. Mostly because we like to choose where are food is from, plus it helps I’m not a bad cook. So a lot of what I make is similar or better than what we get at most restaurants. Of course, it is also a great way to reduce our monthly costs even if do buy mostly local and organic. That’s still cheaper than dining out.

The Sunday Supper crowd grew from a few of tweeting our cooking accomplishments to now being a group of over 100 bloggers who contribute a post for each week’s Sunday Supper theme.  Last week everyone chose a recipe from a past Sunday Supper theme.  Sadly I came down with the flu on Friday and had my worst day on Saturday. I was all set to make my recipe and write a blog post, but my wife looked at me and told me ‘no, you’re not cooking tonight.’  So she made spaghetti and I went back to the living room to rest.

It’s Tuesday night and with all the ingredients still fresh and ready for me to make, I knew tonight would be the night I’d finally have a chance to try this casserole out. I had eyed it back in November when Katy from Happy Baking Days shared this amazing looking dish with the Sunday Supper group. Glad I did. It is an amazing dish, sort of a vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe since I forgot I had spilled my bag of dried lentils the week before, I went with canned. Also, I had a small amount of tomato past to make the base a little richer. The original recipe is great too so don’t feel you need to adjust, unless you too spill lentils all over your kitchen floor and forget to restock.

Original Recipe: [Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole for #SundaySupper]

Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole
Serves 4-6

1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 carrots, thick bite-size chop
2 parsnips, thick cubes
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 15-oz can lentils, drain
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, do not drain
1 tsp concentrated tomato paste
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ginger
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
4 white potatoes, peeled
2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter
Grated cheese, I used raw cheddar

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Heat a pan on medium-high heat with the olive oil, onion, and garlic for about 4 minutes or until translucent, not burnt. Then add the parsnips, carrots and salt and pepper to taste. Let that cook in the pan for about 3 minutes and then add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, lentils, kidney beans and spices and cook for 10 minutes at a slightly bubbling simmer.

While the vegetables are simmering, cook the the potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and add milk and butter and mash potatoes. Set aside.

Pour the vegetable mixture into a casserole dish. Flatten and then add several mounds of mashed potatoes.  Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle mounds of potatoes with cheese and increase oven to 400 degrees and cook for 10-15 minutes until tops of potatoes brown.

Remove from oven and serve.

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Here are the other recipes from last week’s bloggers celebrating the One Year Anniversary of SundaySupper. Congrats again Isabel!

Sunday Supper Appetizers:

 Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:

 Sunday Supper Main Dishes: 

Sunday Supper Veggies: 

Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks: 

 Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:

Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

 

 

 

 

 

#SundaySupper Beer-Braised Beef

On November 3, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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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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If you liked this recipe, checkout over 50 contributors to this week’s SundaySupper Soul Warming theme

Main Entrees: 

Chili/Stews:

Soups:

Desserts/Beverages:

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Join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your Sunday Supper Soul Warming Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

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Crock Pot: Pot Roast

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