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Tag Archive: winter

Boeuf Bourguignon

February 15, 2015 Print this page

I am such a Francophile sometimes, especially when it comes to French food. This is a classic dish from the Burgundy region of France, and while it sounds complicated, it’s not as hard as you might think! I made a few adaptions to lighten the dish up a bit, and I promise you won’t miss any of the butter or flour. 

In the words of Julia Child, the inspiration for this recipe,”BON APPÉTIT!”

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients

Prep Time 30 min
Cooking Time 2 hr 30 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 8 servings

8 ounces of slab bacon, roughly diced (I used beef bacon, but pork is fine too)

2 1/2 – 3 lb beef stew meat, cubed into 1-inch pieces

1 lb carrots, washed well and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices

2 large onions, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup of cognac

3 cups of good red wine

3 cups of low-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 teaspoons of fresh thyme

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lb mushrooms, roughly sliced

1 lb frozen pearl onions

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder + 4 tablespoons of water

Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Heat a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot on the stovetop over medium heat, then add the diced bacon. Cook until most of the fat has been rendered and the bacon has been browned, about 10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

Toss the stew meat with 1 teaspoon of salt and add half of the pieces to the remaining bacon fat in the Dutch oven. Cook until the beef has been browned, about 5-6 minutes, rotating the pieces once or twice to ensure even browning. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, then repeat the same process with the remaining pieces.

Pour off all but about 1-2 tablespoons of the accumulated fat and add the carrots and onions. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and saute until slightly softened and golden-brown, about 15 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Slowly pour in the cognac and red wine. Increase the heat slightly and bring to a boil. Let cook for 3-4 minutes to burn off some of the alcohol, then stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, bacon, and stew meat pieces. Bring to a boil once more, then cover the pot with a lid and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. You’re ready to move onto the next step when the beef and carrots are tender.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook until starting to brown and becoming soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the beef and vegetables are ready, add the mushrooms along with the frozen pearl onions. Cook on the stovetop over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of cool water. Pour the mixture into the stew, reduce the heat to low, and stir well. If needed, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of arrowroot powder with 2 more tablespoons of cool water and add to the stew to thicken further.

Let cook over low heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with smashed potatoes, your favorite grain, or over a bed of roasted vegetables.


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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti (gluten-free + vegan)

December 25, 2014 1 Comment Print this page

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Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you all have had a nice couple of days relaxing with family and friends.

After spending a grueling few weeks of non-stop homework, tests, and papers from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I am finally enjoying a reprieve in sunny St. Lucia where I have clocked more hours sunbathing in a hammock than I think I ever have before. Of course, this wonderful illusion of not having to do anything will come crashing down in a few days when I return home to the land of studying for midterms and learning about buffers for AP Chemistry, but for now, both my mind and body are in paradise.

Although I am still dreaming about the crunchy deliciousness that are these biscotti…

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I came up with these when I was trying to decide what cookies to make for my teachers this year. I wanted something fun and slightly sophisticated–no chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin here! I then arrived at biscotti, which I decided to flavor with orange and ginger for a slightly-sweet, slightly-citrusy, slightly-spicy flavor profile. With almond flour as the base and pistachios added in, these had a wonderful note of nuttiness as well.

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If you’d like to change up the taste, it’s easy with these cookies! Simply a spice or extract, a citrus fruit (or slightly-acidic fruit), and a nut, and you’re good to go. How about almond, lemon, and vanilla? Walnut, grapefruit, and star anise? Macadamia nut, pineapple, and coconut? You get the idea. Just play around with your favorites and you’ll wind up with a lovely treat. 🙂

Biscotti may sound intimidating, but no need to fear–they’re actually quite easy to make! Simply pulse together the dry ingredients…

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…add the wet ingredients, then fold in the nuts with a spatula…

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…form into a log…

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…bake until golden brown, let cool, slice, and bake again! Easy as that for a lovely treat that still maintains its fancy edge.

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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 15-20 cookies

3 cups of blanched almond flour

3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey or coconut nectar (if you want it to be vegan)

3/4 cup of pistachios, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange

1/3 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice

1/3-1/2 cup of crystallized ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon several times until no clumps of almond flour remain.

Next, add in the liquid sweetener and orange juice and pulse until a sticky ball of dough forms. If the ball doesn’t hold together, add more arrowroot powder and almond flour one teaspoon at a time. If the ball seems too dry, add a little more orange juice (if you have it) or just a teaspoon or so of water. At this point, you should also taste the dough and see if it needs more sweetener or ginger–there are no eggs to worry about, so just go for it!

Remove the blade from the food processor and, using a good spatula, fold in the pistachios, orange zest, and crystallized ginger.

Scoop the dough out of the food processor and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and, using your hands, shape it into a log that’s approximately 12″ by 9″ and isn’t flat as a pancake. Use a rolling pin if you need to to flatten the top.

Bake until the log is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool to room temperature–this will take 1 to 2 hours, and the longer the wait the better.

Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the log lengthwise (so from shorter side to shorter side) into 15-20 cookies. Turn the oven heat down to 300 degrees and place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one of the lighter sides facing up.

Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. If the cookies begin to seriously brown, turn the oven heat down to 275 or 250 and/or flip them over a little earlier.

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dip in a good cup of coffee and enjoy!


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What is your favorite holiday cookie? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti

December 25, 2014 Print this page

If you like something crunchy with notes of nuts, citrus, and spice, then these cookies are for you! Don’t get intimidated by the name–biscotti just means “twice-baked.” These are a breeze to make and taste SO. GOOD. Make a bunch for the next time you have coffee with friends or would like to give a gift to someone. (Adapted from this recipe.)

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 15-20 cookies

3 cups of blanched almond flour

3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey or coconut nectar (if you want it to be vegan)

3/4 cup of pistachios, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange

1/3 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice

1/3-1/2 cup of crystallized ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon several times until no clumps of almond flour remain.

Next, add in the liquid sweetener and orange juice and pulse until a sticky ball of dough forms. If the ball doesn’t hold together, add more arrowroot powder and almond flour one teaspoon at a time. If the ball seems too dry, add a little more orange juice (if you have it) or just a teaspoon or so of water. At this point, you should also taste the dough and see if it needs more sweetener or ginger–there are no eggs to worry about, so just go for it!

Remove the blade from the food processor and, using a good spatula, fold in the pistachios, orange zest, and crystallized ginger.

Scoop the dough out of the food processor and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and, using your hands, shape it into a log that’s approximately 12″ by 9″ and isn’t flat as a pancake. Use a rolling pin if you need to to flatten the top.

Bake until the log is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool to room temperature–this will take 1 to 2 hours, and the longer the wait the better.

Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the log lengthwise (so from shorter side to shorter side) into 15-20 cookies. Turn the oven heat down to 300 degrees and place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one of the lighter sides facing up.

Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. If the cookies begin to seriously brown, turn the oven heat down to 275 or 250 and/or flip them over a little earlier.

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dip in a good cup of coffee and enjoy!


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Fig, Molasses, and Coriander Lamb Kebabs (gluten-free + paleo)

November 8, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Have you ever wanted to make something fancy but felt like you haven’t had the time or energy to do so?

This dish is your solution. Pair it with some roasted vegetables and some couscous (cauliflower or regular) and you can pretty much call yourself a restaurant chef.

OK, maybe not. But you’ll come close.

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I came up with this recipe when I wanted to make lamb kebabs marinated in pomegranate molasses…but had no pomegranate molasses. I decided to use regular molasses instead (even though the two are completely different) and paired it with fig jam and coriander to add another layer of more subtle sweetness and a slightly lemony flavor, along with a dash each of cinnamon, cumin, and salt. After briefly grilling and letting rest, I had this slightly-smoky, perfectly-charred masterpiece to present to my hungry family.

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This dish is wonderful both in the summer and the fall and winter, so make it whenever the grill is calling your name (and it isn’t raining or snowing outside). One piece of advice: have your butcher use lamb shoulder instead of leg for the kebab meat–I find the shoulder meat to have more flavor and be more tender.

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Simply marinate for a few hours…

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…and you’re ready to get grilling!

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. 🙂

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Fig, Molasses, and Coriander Lamb Kebabs

Ingredients

Prep Time 4 hours
Cooking Time 10 min
Total Time 4 hr 10 min
Yield 4-6 servings

1/3 cup of fig preserves (no sugar added)

1/4 cup of blackstrap molasses

2 teaspoons of coriander

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1.5 lb lamb shoulder meat, cut into 2-inch cubes

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients except the lamb shoulder meat in a large bowl, whisking well to make sure there are no big clumps of fig or spices.

Add the lamb shoulder meat and toss with your hands to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.

Heat the grill to high and grease the grates well. Remove the lamb chunks from the marinade and thread them on either soaked wooden skewer or metal skewers, or simply place them on a greased wire rack.

Reduce the heat to medium and place the lamb on the grill. Grill over direct heat until the outside is nicely charred and pale pink in the center (140 to 145 degrees), about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Let rest for 5-10 minutes before eating.


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By the way, I apologize for not posting more frequently. You know what they say–junior year of high school is the busiest one of all! Don’t worry, though…there’s lots of yummy food to come, so stay tuned. (Perhaps almond joy brownies…?)


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Fig, Molasses, and Coriander Lamb Kebabs

October 25, 2014 Print this page

Sweet and slightly exotic with a little crunch on the outside, this lamb is delicious but in fact super easy to prepare. You don’t even need wooden skewers–a simple grill rack will suffice.

Ingredients

Prep Time 4 hours
Cooking Time 10 min
Total Time 4 hr 10 min
Yield 4-6 servings

1/3 cup of fig preserves (no sugar added)

1/4 cup of blackstrap molasses

2 teaspoons of coriander

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1.5 lb lamb shoulder meat, cut into 2-inch cubes

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients except the lamb shoulder meat in a large bowl, whisking well to make sure there are no big clumps of fig or spices.

Add the lamb shoulder meat and toss with your hands to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.

Heat the grill to high and grease the grates well. Remove the lamb chunks from the marinade and thread them on either soaked wooden skewer or metal skewers, or simply place them on a greased wire rack.

Reduce the heat to medium and place the lamb on the grill. Grill over direct heat until the outside is nicely charred and pale pink in the center (140 to 145 degrees), about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Let rest for 5-10 minutes before eating.


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