Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Winter Vegetable Stew

In an effort to eat more in season vegetables I'm making this often this winter. My main inspiration for the stew is from Moosewood Cooks at Home. I depart from their recipe to use as much in season produce as possible as and I add stew meat as well.

1/2 lb stew beef
dust with flour
Then brown in pressure cooker. Cover with water and cook at pressure for 10-14 minutes.
Remove from heat and let it come down from pressure and add to the stew when you added stock.

2 (cups) onions finely chopped ( have replaced on of the onions with a leek)
2 celery sliced
olive oil
2 carrots roll cut
1-2 parsnips cubed
1-2 rutabagas cubed
1-2 potatoes or sweat potatoes cubed
1+ cups green beans fresh or frozen
3 cloves or so chopped or pressed garlic
1 green or red pepper (some time I skip it since they are expensive)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (if you wish)
1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 bottle of beer
veggie or beef stock
liquid from pressure cooking the beef
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon molasses

Saute onions in oil for a few minutes then add the celery. After that add garlic and mix then add the the other veggies and saute for a bit more.

Add the herbs
Add the pressure cooked stew meat along with the liquid. Add stock and a bottle of beer so there is enough liquid to your liking I like to at least cover all the veggies plus a little more.

Then add the dijon mustard and molasses

Let it come to a boil then put on simmer until the veggies are tender about 15-20 minutes or so. Then salt and pepper to taste


Then enjoy with some fresh bread and a beer.

Buns and Burgers

So for about 3 weeks I have not purchased any bread with the exception of hot dog and hamburger buns. Sunday night I tried my hand at hamburger buns using the Artisan Bread Dough.


I made up a batch of light wheat. After it had risen enough I weight out bits about 3.5 oz each give or take. Gently shaped them then placed them on a grease pie pan. I smooshed them down so they were a bit flatter and let them rest for about 20m min. Then baked them for about 20 min at 450 deg F.


They turned out well and taste good with the burgers. The only problem is they are denser than your usual fluffy burger buns. So I'm going to give the American Style bread recipe from the Artisan Bread book a try to see if this will make a lighter bun.


Stephen makes these delish burgers. He kind of marinates the burgers in some tamari, worshteshire sauce, and garlic before he cooks them up. We top them off with cooked onions and cheese. As long as you aren't a veggetarian. You have to admit that looks pretty good and it was! It's a treat to have tastey homemade burgers AND homemade buns.

I'm proclaiming myself a Domestic Goddess. I just sayin'

Monday, February 16, 2009

Take Stock in Stock

Ideally I like to make my own stock because it's less salty than bullion and it's way cheaper than the stuff you get in cans or aseptic container. If I just take them time it's really not all that hard.


I keep a bag of leftover veggies scraps from meals in the freezer. When that gets full I put it all in a pot with anything else I have on hand, fill the pot up with water...

Here's a basic recipe and how to if you are a stock virgin. Inspired from New Recipes from Moosewood.

Veggie Stock
2 large unpeeled potatoes and quartered
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
1 large onion and quartered
1 celery stock chopped
1 apple or pear seeded and quartered
1 bay leaf
12 peppercorns
10 cups water about 2.5 quarts

For a spicier stock add garlic cloves skins and all and a small amount of tomato. I always add garlic. I also will toss in onion peels and not always peel the other veggies I add. I always wash everything well.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour. Strain the veggies out and put them in the compost if you have one. Then you are ready to use the stock or put in the fridge for the next day. If you don’t think you will be able to use it right away you can store in the freezer. Some can be put in ice cube trays so you can use a few cubes when you are cooking up some rice. After they are frozen place in a plastic bag.


You can measure out larger amounts and put it in a Rubbermaid container then after it freezes transfer it to plastic bags so you can have the container back.

If you want a chicken stock just save up your bones and skins as well in the freezer and add them to the veggies.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!

My first attempt at pizza using the Semolina recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I rolled the dough out and baked the crust first for about 5minutes or so at 500 deg F on the pizza stone.

I wish I had done it much thinner as the crust was on the thick side. I baked the pizza on the pizza stone as well at 500 deg F. I also made one pizza with some light wheat recipe which had 1.5 more cups of whole wheat than the original recipe in the book. I liked the taste of the semolina bread for the crust and will try that again. The light wheat works well too and what I have on hand most of the time so it's likely what I will used most often.


I feel particularly good about this pizza because I made the crust myself, the sauce was left over from spaghetti, and the mozzarella was my homemade cheese. The cheddar was local.

Served it up with some local mesclun mix.

This is my second attempt this time using a light wheat recipe that was actually half whole wheat and half white.


This one I baked the crust for about 5 min on 500 deg oven on the pizza stone. I made all the crust in advance then removed the pizza stone from the oven. Topped the pizza with some Muir Glenn Pizza Sauce, not my mozzarella, left over steamed broccoli form lunch, and steamed some spinach. I brushed some garliced up olive oil over the criust before adding the sauce, then topped with the spinach and broccoli, then the cheese. I mized the steamed spinach with some of the garliced up olive oil before adding it to the pizza.

I put the pizza's in the oven a 500 deg F, for about 5 minutes or until the cheese stated bubbling, right on the rack. I think this was the key to making the crust really crips. I wish I has gotten a side view of this pizza as I got a very thin crunch crust.


Apparent my son was in Pizza Heaven.

My next plan is to make up several pre cooked mini pizza crusts and stpre them in the freezer for a handy pizza meal.

Also adding that I docked both pizza's (as in poked it with a fork) so the sides would rise when baking but the center would not. It also supposed to allow steam to escape. While I was rolling out the dough my daughter said "Hey Mom, you should dock the crust." I said "Huh? What's that?" and she proceed to show me. I learn a lot from my foodnetwork obsessed daughter.