Steak and Guinness Stew

Each year I make this stew (or a version of it) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It is delicious and totally worth the time it takes to babysit it so that it does not burn.

This year I served it with mashed red potatoes and fried cabbage.

Steak and Guinness Stew

2 pounds stew beef
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 14.9 ounce can of Guinness
4 tablespoons cornstarch
salt and black pepper, to taste

Puff pastry squares (measuring about 4 inches by 4 inches), baked according to package directions.

Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown the stew beef. Add the chopped onions and cook until softened. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Next, add 1 cup of the beef broth and the Guinness. Mix the cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth and add to the other ingredients. Bring the stew to a slight boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cook on low for 2 hours, stirring very often, until the beef is tender. The stew has the tendency of sticking to the bottom of the pot, so be sure to stir often. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the stew onto a plate, and top with a pastry square.

 


Umami Sauce (LID)

Umami Sauce 2

I’ve been trying to come up with a soy-free, fish-free, and iodized (or sea) salt-free substitute for soy sauce and fish sauce. I  I saw a blurb in the January 2015 issue of Saveur magazine about a chef (Christian Puglisi of Relae in Copenhagen, Denmark) who makes a Mushroom “Soy” Sauce to add umami to his dishes. I adapted his recipe to fit my needs for a low-iodine diet (LID) I have to go on soon.

Use the Umami Sauce instead of soy sauce or fish sauce (a great way to veganize Asian dishes) in recipes or incorporate  into other dishes to add a umami/mushroom flavor. I used the umami sauce in a low iodine diet version of Pad Thai. I was really happy with the results.

Umami Sauce

Umami Sauce

8 ounces white button mushrooms
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Slice the mushrooms and place in a bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the mushrooms and mix to distribute. Let the mushrooms sit for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Line a small colander or mesh strainer with cheesecloth over a bowl or measuring cup. Pour the mushrooms and their liquids into the strainer. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze out all the liquid from the mushrooms. You can use the mushrooms for another purpose. Store the mushroom liquid (Umami Sauce) in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Kale and Mushroom Soba Noodle Bowl

Kale and Mushroom Soba Noodle Bowl

Noodle bowls are really popular right now. Do a search on Pinterest and a gabillion entries pop up. Even Panera Bread has jumped on the noodle bowl bandwagon.  Soba noodles are made with buckwheat and are a nice change from rice or wheat noodles. Feel free to experiment with the veggies you use in your soba noodle bowls. I think shredded cabbage would be a nice addition to this particular recipe. A soft boiled egg would be good too.

Have all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. Once you start, this dish comes together quickly.

Kale and Mushroom Soba Noodle Bowl

8 ounces soba noodles
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
4 cups kale, washed, stems removed, and chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
sesame seeds

Cook the soba noodles according to the directions on the package or until done to the preferred tenderness. Drain.

Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sriracha, and sesame oil. Set the sauce aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok (or large skillet) over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the kale, mushrooms, carrot, and zucchini and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the drained noodles and the sauce and mix well. Cook until heated through and the noodles have had time to soak up the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.


Collard Greens Tart

Collard Greens Tart

Every once in a while the planets align and something goes right. This was the case one day not long ago when I was cleaning out my fridge, looking for something to make for dinner.

I had fifty-gabillion bunches of collard greens that need to be cooked before I got another fifty-gabillion bunches from my CSA in a couple of days. The collards from my Pinckney’s Produce CSA are magical.  They are so tender and delicious. I have never had collards so good before. Well, I cleaned what I had in my fridge, and sliced them up very thin and cooked them in salted water until tender. I let them drain, with plans to freeze at least half of them (in hopes of finding another excuse to make the Hot Collards and Artichoke Dip).

While the collards were cooking, I came across a roll of store-bought pie crust, a small wedge of Collier’s Welsh cheddar cheese, and a package of baby bella mushrooms in the fridge. It was then that I just knew. I had to make a savory collard greens tart with these ingredients. I had to.

The tart turned out perfectly. It looked so beautiful….and green. I put a lot of collards on that tart shell. It sliced like a dream. My husband had serious doubts about the tart, but tasted it anyway. He was pleasantly surprised and inhaled half the tart (or at least a fourth). He declared it to be “very good” and all was well with the world.

Collard Greens Tart Sliced80)

Collard Greens Tart

1 very large bunch of collard greens, washed, stems removed, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 8 ounce package baby bella mushrooms (or white button), chopped
1 large egg, beaten
4 ounces Collier’s Welsh cheddar cheese (or a sharp cheddar), shredded or finely cubed
1 pie crust (can be homemade or store-bought)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Cook the prepped collard greens in salted water until tender. Drain well in a colander. When the collards have cooled, use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Set aside.

While the collards are cooking, roll out and press the pie crust into a tart pan that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Trim off any excess crust. I like the tart pans with the bottom that pops out, but use what you have.   Use a fork to pierce the pie crust in the bottom of the pan a few times. This will let steam escape and keep the crust from puffing. Bake the crust until it starts to get lightly golden, 6 – 8 minutes. I just think pre-baking the crust a bit will help the finished product from being soggy.

While the crust is baking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the onions and mushrooms in the oil over medium heat until they are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the reserved collards and season to taste with salt and pepper. Take off the heat and mix in the eggs and the cheese.

Pull the tart shell out of the oven and spread the collards filling evenly over the shell. I use my fingers to press all the filling evenly into the shell. Bake for 30 minutes until set. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.

 


Eggplant Stroganoff

Eggplant Stroganoff

I’ve been getting some beautiful eggplants in my Pinckney’s Produce CSA box so far this season. I’m always looking for new ways to prepare eggplant. Each week CSA members get an email early in the week with the contents of the week’s box, news from the farm, and a recipe to use some of the produce. This recipe for Eggplant Stroganoff was featured in last week’s email. It was mentioned that the recipe given produces a runny sauce. I thought I could avoid that problem by preparing the sauce separately from the veggies and reducing the amount of liquid. I think my adaptation of Eggplant Stroganoff turned out well.

My husband had reservations about trying the Eggplant Stroganoff. He’s not a big fan of eggplant, but he admitted that he liked it and then had seconds. I wasn’t a 100% certain I would like it, but it was actually super-delicious. I finished off the leftovers for lunch today and am already thinking about making it again soon. And why not? This Eggplant Stroganoff has almost half of the calories of my Beef Stroganoff and is totally satisfying. You will not miss the meat in this dish.

Eggplant Stroganoff

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 Italian eggplant (or two small), cut into 1-inch cubes (no need to peel the eggplant)
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used 1 1/2 cups water and 2 Knorr vegetable bouillon cubes)
1/2 cup sour cream (you can use low-fat)
salt and pepper, to taste

cooked egg noodles, warmed

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and dry mustard and cook for a minute. Gradually add the vegetable broth, whisking constantly until thick, about 2 minutes. Stir in the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm on low heat.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Add the eggplant and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is tender, about 5 minutes. Pour reserved sauce over the eggplant mixture and stir gently to combine. Reduce heat and simmer a  few minutes more. Serve over warm egg noodles.

 

 

 


Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas

I picked up 8 ounce packages of baby bella mushrooms at Aldi this week for 99 cents each. Such a good deal. I’m becoming a big fan of Aldi, which is owned by the same company that owns Trader Joe’s. Aldi doesn’t have much in way of variety, but they have good prices, especially on produce. I got organic bananas for 69 cents a pound and a seedless watermelon for $2.99 this week. Just don’t get too attached to any one product at Aldi. The products are constantly changing.

We will be eating a lot of mushroom dishes this week. This is a variation of my Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas with a Creamy Tomatillo Sauce recipe. In this version, the sauce is different. I incorporated some of the mushrooms into the creamy enchilada sauce. It’s delicious.

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas 2

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas

3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 packages (9 – 10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze as much liquid as possible)
salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated (or Monterrey Jack)
1 cup water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (I use Knorr brand)
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
8 corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter until tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove half of the mushroom mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Add the spinach to the mushroom mixture and cook until all the liquid in the skillet is gone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the pepper jack cheese and turn the heat down to low. Keep the mushroom mixture warm while you prepare the enchilada sauce.

In a saucepan, bring the water and vegetarian bouillon cube to a boil. Whisk the corn starch and garlic powder into the sour cream and then whisk into the boiling liquid. Whisk until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the reserved mushroom mixture and the cilantro.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Wet several paper towels and wring them out. Wrap the corn tortillas in the damp paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds or until warm and pliable.

Divide the spinach and mushroom filling evenly between the 8 corn tortillas and roll up (not too tight) to enclose the filling. Place the enchiladas seam side down in the baking dish. Top the enchiladas with the creamy mushroom sauce. Bake the enchiladas in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto (547x640)

I made this risotto while I was on the low iodine diet, but you don’t have to be on a special diet to enjoy it. My husband and I both thought it was delicious. This can easily be made to be vegetarian/vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

3 cups unsalted chicken broth
1 bunch (about 1 pound) fresh asparagus, sliced in to 1/2-inch pieces
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 ounces mushrooms (button or baby bellas), cleaned and chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, heat the unsalted chicken broth to simmering.

In another saucepan, cook the sliced asparagus in salted (with Kosher salt) boiling water, until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet with a heavy bottom, heat 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the Arborio rice, stir to coat with oil and sauté with onions for about 5 minutes to toast the rice. Add the chopped mushrooms and continue to sauté until they soften. Add 1 cup of the heated chicken broth, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring until the rice has absorbed the broth. Add another 1/2 cup of the stock, stirring often until the rice has absorbed the broth. Continue adding the broth (about ½ cup at a time) as the rice absorbs the liquid and the pan becomes dry, until all the broth is absorbed. This should take about 20 minutes (the risotto will become creamy). As you are adding the last bit of broth, add the drained asparagus and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, season with Kosher salt and pepper, stir to combine, and serve immediately.