Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beef Burgundy (Slow Cooker)

Yields 8 servings

5 Pounds beef, chuck roast trimmed, cut in 1 1/2-in chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbls oil, olive 
6 Ounce(wt)s bacon, uncooked cut in strips
3 Large onion, white minced
2 Large carrots peeled, minced
1/4 Cup tomato paste 
12 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Tbls thyme, fresh minced
1/3 Cup flour, all-purpose 
2 1/2 Cups wine, Pinot Noir divided
1 1/2 Cup stock, chicken, low-sodium plus extra if needed
1/3 Cup soy sauce, low sodium 
2 Each bay leaves 
2 Cups onion, pearl, frozen 
1/2 Cup water 
3 Tbls butter, unsalted 
2 tsp sugar, white 
1 Pound mushrooms, cremini small ones halved or large ones quartered 

Dry beef with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place half of beef in slow cooker. 

Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown remaining beef well on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. 

Chef's Note: If there is a lot of beef, do not overload the pan as the beef will steam. Better to cook the remaining beef in two batches to ensure they brown, not steam. 

Cook bacon in skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon from fat and move to slow cooker. Add onions, carrots, tomato paste, garlic and thyme and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stor in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in half of the wine (1.25 cups), scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker. 

Stir broth, soy sauce, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low OR 5 to 7 hours on high. 

About 20 minutes before serving, bring frozen pearl onions, water, butter and sugar to boil in 12-inch skillet. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until the onions are fully thawed and tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Uncover, bring to a boil, and cook until all liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook until vegetables are browned and glazed, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. 

Add remaining 1.25 cups wine to skillet and simmer until it has reduced by half, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves. Adjust stew consistency with additional hot broth as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over Parslied Noodles.

1 Pound noodles, extra wide
1/2 Bunch chopped parsley, flat-leaf
4 Tbls butter

Cook pasta to package directions. 

Drain and toss with butter and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Curried Chicken and Apricot Salad

Yields enough for 8 sandwiches

1/2 Cup apricots, dried coarsely chopped
4 Each onion, green cut into 1-inch pieces
4 Cups chicken, cooked, finely chopped (one rotisserie chicken)
1/4 cup mayonnaise, light 
1/4 cup sour cream, light
1 Tbls curry powder, sweet 
2 tsp juice, lemon 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/8 tsp pepper, cayenne
8 leaves lettuce, red leaf
16 slices bread, whole wheat

Optional Ingredients:
1/2 Cup almonds, sliced
In a food processor, finely chop the apricots and scallions. Move to a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the  mayonnaise, sour cream, curry powder, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne; mix well.  Add finely chopped chicken to the large bowl and mix with the apricots and scallions.  Fold in the mayonnaise mixture.
Spread on bread half of the slices.  Top with a leaf of lettuce. Top with sliced almonds, if using and with remaining slice of bread.  Slice as desired and serve.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hearty Lentil Soup (Slow Cooker)

Yields 8 servings

4 Tbls oil, olive, divided
3 Large beef bone, round with marrow (for soup)
2 Large onion, white large dice 
8 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Pound sausage, kielbasa sliced into discs
3 Cups ham, cooked diced
2 Cups carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 Cups celery cut into 1/2-inch slices plus leaves
2 Large tomatoes, red, fresh, wedged
1 Pound lentils, dried rinsed and picked through
1 1/2 Tbls Frank's Red Hot 
1 to taste salt and pepper
1 tsp Southwestern Seasoning 
4 Cups stock, chicken, low-sodium 
24 oz (fl) beer, (Dark German beer such as Bock or Hefeweizen)
12 oz (wt) spinach, fresh baby spinach

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.  Add the beef bones and sear on each side, for 1 minute.  Add the onions on top and saute for 5 minutes.  Remove bones and move to the slow cooker.  Add the garlic to the onion and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add onions and garlic to slow cooker.  Add another 1 tablespoon oil and add sausage to skillet and saute until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add to slow cooker.  Add another 1 tablespoon oil and add ham to skillet.  Saute until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Move to slow cooker.

Add last tablespoon of oil to skillet.  Add in celery, carrots, salt, pepper and Southwest seasoning.  Saute until they begin to color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add to slow cooker, along with tomatoes, lentils, hot sauce, stock and beer.  Your cooker may be full to the top.

Add lid and set on low and cook for 5 to 6 hours, until lentils are done.  The vegetables will still be crunchy.  Remove beef bones.  Fold in the spinach and let wilt, 5 minutes.  Serve with crusty bread with an herbed butter.

Chef's Note: If you cannot find a beef soup bone, you can make this without, just add 1 to 2 teaspoons of beef bouillon granules when sautéing the sausage. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Chicken with White Wine, Tarragon and Cream (Slow Cooker)

Yields 6 servings

6 12-ozs chicken breast, bone-in ribs removed
1 to taste salt and pepper 
1/4 Cup oil, vegetable 
1 1/4 Pound mushrooms, crimini cut in quarters
2 Large onion, white minced
2 tsp thyme, fresh minced
4 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1/4 Cup flour, all-purpose 
3/4 Cups wine, dry white 
1 Cup stock, chicken, low-sodium 
1 Pound carrots 
2 Tbls soy sauce, low sodium 
2 Each bay leaves 
1/2 Cup cream, heavy 
1/4 Cup tarragon, fresh minced 

Dry chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet (preferably iron or other not non-stick) over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken, skin-side down, and brown lightly, 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with 1 tablespoon more oil and remaining chicken; transfer to plate. Let chicken cool slightly and discard skin. 

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, mushrooms, onions, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until mushrooms are softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until mushrooms are dry and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. 

Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in white wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps; transfer to the slow cooker. 

Stir in stock, carrots, soy cause and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Nestle the browned (now skinless) chicken with any accumulated juices into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low. 

Transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes., then remove fat from surface using a large spoon. Discard bay leaves. Stir in cream and tarragon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon 1 cup of the sauce over the chicken and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Best Banana Bread

Yields 1 loaf

2 Cups flour, all-purpose 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
3/4 tsp salt, table
1/2 Cup sugar, white 
1 Large egg, whole beaten
1/2 Cup oil, vegetable 
1 Cup banana mashed, ripe (preferably overripe)
1 Tbls juice, lemon 
Optional Ingredients:
1 Cup walnuts, English chopped
1 Cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for a convection oven).
Sift dry ingredients together.  If using, add 3/4 cup walnuts or 1 cup chocolate chips. 

Combine remaining ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients. Stir BY HAND only until flour is moistened and you see no more flour - be careful NOT to over mix. 
Pour into greased 9x5 loaf pan. If using walnuts, sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup walnuts over top. 
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
Let cool in pan on counter for 5 to 10 minutes, then dump out into rack to finish cooling.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Dough Dip

Yields: 6 servings

8 Ounce(wt)s cheese, cream regular softened
1/2 Cup butter softened
1 Cup sugar, powdered 
2 Tbls sugar, light brown, packed 
1/2 Tbls extract, vanilla 
1 Cup chocolate chips, semisweet 

Optional Ingredients:
1 Cup toffee pieces
Cream together cream cheese and butter. 
Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined. 
Serve with graham crackers, Nilla wafers and apple wedges.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Lindy's Kicked Up Ranch Buffalo Chicken Dip

Yields 8 servings (4 cups)

8 Ounce(wt)s cheese, cream regular softened
1/2 Cup ranch dressing OR bleu cheese dressing
1/2 Cup Frank's Louisiana Hot Sauce 
1/2 Cup cheese, mozzarella (whole milk) shredded OR crumbled blue cheese (plus more for topping)
25 Ounce(wt)s rotisserie chicken, shredded 
25 Ounce(wt)s chicken, canned, water packed drained 
1 tsp Silver Service Chef's Lindy's Rib Rub (plus more for sprinkling on top)

Chef's Note: If you prefer Ranch, use the ranch dressing with the mozzarella cheese.  If you prefer Blue cheese, use the blue cheese dressing with the blue cheese.  If you don't have my Rib Rub, use a combo of cayenne pepper and chili powder with a little garlic powder (use your own tastes to decide ratio).

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Place cream cheese into food processor.  Add salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese.  Process until smooth.

Add in chicken and Rib Rub.  Pulse until well combined and at your desired consistency.  Spoon into 1-quart baking dish.  Top with extra cheese and sprinkle with a little extra Rib Rub.

Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through and bubbly.  

Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, baby carrots and celery sticks.