Category: One-Dish Recipes

Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew plated

Guinness is a dark, dry Irish stout. It has a slightly bitter taste from toasted malt, which nicely compliments a fatty cut of beef like a chuck roast. Guinness Beef Stew is cooked low and slow to tenderize the meat and develop a rich and satisfying gravy. The stew has Yukon gold potatoes and carrots. Add some peas at the last minute, they just need to heat through, and you have a delicious and satisfying one-dish meal!

Guinness Beef Stew chuck roast

I prefer to buy the chuck roast and trim and cut to size myself. I find pre-packaged beef stew pieces to be too small. There’s a bit of fat that’s pretty easy to remove, just follow the natural lines of the meat and cut the trimmed roast into 2-inch cubes.

Guinness Beef Stew cubed beef

I also like bigger pieces of carrot and potato in the stew. They don’t overcook and get mushy and the carrots sliced lengthwise on an angle make a nice presentation.

No need to brown the meat. I have found that this process of browning the meat first can be messy and time consuming and I don’t find that it makes any difference to the end dish. I use my go to More Than Gourmet demi-glace as the base for the sauce, with a dab of tomato paste for added flavor. Penzey’s bouquet garni herb mix gives much more flavor than a traditional bouquet garni (bay leaf, a few thyme sprigs, parsley stems and black pepper corns) and is much more convenient.

My slow cooker has a removable insert, which allows me to prepare everything on the stovetop and then place it back in the cooker on low for 6 – 7 hours. The recipe can also be made on the stovetop and I’ve included those directions as well.

If at all possible, make this recipe the day before. Chilling overnight and removing the fat makes for a less greasy dish and the flavors of the stew are always best the next day.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

Heat the oil over medium heat in a 7-quart Dutch oven or a removeable slow-cooker insert.

Stir in the onion and celery, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring twice. Lower the heat a little if the onion is browning.

Guinness Beef Stew sautéed vegetables

Uncover and add the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds, then mix in the tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly for another 30 seconds.

Sprinkle the flour, bouquet garni, salt, and pepper over the vegetables and stir to combine until no lumps remain.

Guinness Beef Stew

Slowly add the beer stirring constantly to incorporate the flour into the liquid, then add the stock or demi-glace.

Guinness Beef Stew with stock

Add the beef, potatoes and carrots; stir to mix well to cover everything.

Guinness Beef Stew in slow cooker

Tuck the vegetables under the meat. They take a little longer to cook at this size and it’s best if they are buried in the liquid. Don’t be alarmed at the small amount of liquid. The meat and vegetables quickly release their own juices into the pot. Adding too much liquid in the beginning only dilutes the gravy flavor.

Stovetop Method:
Bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to a very gentle simmer, barely a bubble, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef and vegetables are tender. The optimum braising temperature is 180 degrees F.

Slow Cooker Method
Bring to a boil. Cover and place the insert in the slow cooker or transfer the stew from the prep pot to the slow cooker. Set on low and cook for 6 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender.

Guinness Beef Stew slow cooker dial

Cool and refrigerate the stew. Next day, remove the fat that hardened on top and reheat. Add the peas and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Guinness Beef Stew plated

Stew freezes well.

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Guinness Beef Stew

Enjoy this Guinness Beef Stew made with chuck roast, potatoes, carrots, and peas in a rich, thick beefy gravy. It’s a one-dish meal!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Stewing
Scale

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 outer stalks celery, diced
46 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon bouquet garni herb blend
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 bottle (12 ounces) Guinness beer
1 cup classic reduced beef stock or French demi-glace or 1 cup good quality beef or veal stock
4 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch cubes, OR 3 pounds beef stew meat
6 Yukon gold potatoes cut into 8 chunks
6 large carrots cut lengthwise on and angle (34 pieces per carrot)
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen

Instructions

Heat the oil over medium heat in a 7-quart Dutch oven or a removeable slow-cooker insert.

Stir in the onion and celery, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring twice. Lower the heat a little if the onion is browning.

Uncover and add the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds, then mix in the tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly for another 30 seconds.

Sprinkle the flour, bouquet garni, salt, and pepper over the vegetables and stir to combine until no lumps remain.

Slowly add the beer stirring constantly to incorporate the flour into the liquid, then add the stock or demi-glace.

Add the beef, potatoes and carrots; stir to mix well to cover everything. Tuck the vegetables under the meat. They take a little longer to cook at this size and it’s best if they are buried in the liquid. Don’t be alarmed at the small amount of liquid. The meat and vegetables quickly release their own juices into the pot. Adding too much liquid in the beginning only dilutes the gravy flavor.

Stovetop Method:
Bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to a very gentle simmer, barely a bubble, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef and vegetables are tender. The optimum braising temperature is 180 degrees F.

Slow Cooker Method
Bring to a boil. Cover and place the insert in the slow cooker or transfer the stew from the prep pot to the slow cooker. Set on low and cook for 6 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender.

Cool and refrigerate the stew. Next day, remove the fat that hardened on top and reheat. Add the peas and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Notes

Stew freezes well.

Keywords: beef, potatoes, carrots, peas, chuck roast, stew, braise, beer and beef stew, slow cooking

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash in a bowl

This One-Pot Hungarian Goulash was inspired by a dish my Mom made when I was a kid. She simply called it goulash and it was a mixture of ground beef, green bell peppers, elbow macaroni and tomatoes.

It wasn’t until many years later that I learned what real goulash was – a Hungarian meat stew made with paprika, a much more seasoned dish than what Mom made. To honor her, I’ve kept the basics of her version – ground meat, pasta and tomatoes. However, there are more options with peppers today that when I was a kid, sweeter versions in red, yellow, and orange. And, if I can find them, I always prefer the baby bell peppers for their tenderness as well as sweetness.

I also changed the macaroni to pipete pasta, which has larger openings and crevices that capture the sauce. To make this a true Hungarian stew, I’ve used Hungarian paprika for its heat, and smoked paprika for the depth of flavor it provides.

Hungarian Goulash in a bowl

This is also a good recipe to use the leanest ground meat possible. There are lots of ingredients and plenty of moisture in the recipe, but too much fat in the meat makes the dish is a little greasy.

Aside from the fact that this is delicious Hungarian goulash recipe, it’s a one-pot recipe! I put the pasta and water directly into the stew to cook. No extra pot, no draining, and best of all, the pasta soaks up tons of flavor from the sauce. I used ground beef in this version, but feel free to substitute any ground meat, veal is a great option, or poultry.

METHOD FOR MAKING HUNGARIAN GOULASH

Hungarian Goulash vegetables

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat.

Add the lean ground meat/poultry and use the tip of a wooden spoon to break into a small crumble. Simply push the spoon in and give a little twist to separate the meat, repeating this over and over until the meat is very loose.

Hungarian Goulash ground beef

Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until all the pink is gone.

Hungarian Goulash meat ready for vegetables

Lower the heat to medium and stir in the onion, peppers, celery, garlic, bouquet garni, and both paprika; cook for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Hungarian Goulash adding the vegetables

Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook on very low, just a gentle simmer, for 45 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package instruction. Stir frequently to make sure all the pasta is submerged and cooking evenly.

Hungarian Goulash cooking the pasta

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Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash in a bowl
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Stew
Scale

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 medium onion minced
20 baby bell peppers, sliced or 2 regular bell peppers diced
2 celery stalks minced
6 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons bouquet garni herb mix
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 pound elbow or pipete pasta

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat.

Add the lean ground meat/poultry and use the tip of a wooden spoon to break into a small crumble. Simply push the spoon in and give a little twist to separate the meat, repeating this over and over until the meat is very loose. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until all the pink is gone.

Lower the heat to medium and stir in the onion, peppers, celery, garlic, bouquet garni, and both paprika; cook for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook on very low, just a gentle simmer, for 45 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package instruction. Stir frequently to make sure all the pasta is submerged and cooking evenly.

Keywords: stew, goulash, one-pot dinner, one-pot recipe

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Looking for a quick and easy dinner? This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe and cooks quickly on the stovetop, about 1 ½ hours, or in a slow cooker, about 3 ½ hours. Simply prep the pancetta and aromatics, sauté, add the seasonings, canned tomatoes, stock, and chicken (no browning necessary), cover and cook. Add the kale and beans 10 minutes before finishing up and dinner is ready!

Slow Cookers

A quick note on slow cookers. Not all slow cookers are not the same. I personally think it is a waste of money not to own a programmable version. The ones with high/low settings are usually inaccurate and the low setting cooks at too high a temperature for a succulent braise or stew. The perfect temperature for slow cooking is 180 degrees F. Anything higher than that cooks at temperatures that denature and coagulate proteins quickly and there is a greater loss of natural juices and flavors.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

I also like the slow cookers that have a removable, oven-proof insert. This allows you to sauté, brown, etc. in one pan and then transition into the slow cooker with no added dishes to wash. Some slow cookers have many programs available and offer a sauté function and the entire recipe can be made start to finish in the vessel.

If you can’t find or are not a fan of kale, substitute other greens, such as chard, mustard greens for a little zing, or spinach, which only needs to be stirred into the hot stew last minute to wilt.

Putting the Stew Together

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

sautéing pancetta

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

sautéing aromatics for Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This may not look like enough liquid, but don’t add more. The vegetables and chicken exude lots of flavorful juices and adding more liquid now only dilutes the flavor.

Here’s the difference in the amount of liquid, above before cooking and below after cooking.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the cannellini beans and heat through.

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

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Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe that cooks quickly on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Lots of flavor and vegetables, too!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Stew/Braise
  • Method: Slow Cook
Scale

Ingredients

4 ounces diced pancetta
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 baby bell peppers, tops removed, sliced lengthwise, or one bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup vegetable demi-glace, such as More Than Gourmet
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken (white meat, dark meat, or both), cut into 2-inch cubes
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans

Instructions

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Stir in the cannellini beans and heat through.

Notes

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

Keywords: slow cook, crockpot, stew, braise, chicken stew, kale, white beans, one-pot dinner

One-Pot Penne alla Vodka

bowl of penne alla vodka pasta with garnish

bowl of penne pasta with garnishbowl of penne alla vodka pasta with garnishOne-pot pasta dishes are so quick and easy to make and it saves even more time without the second pan and the colander to wash. Here’s my version of One-Pot Penne alla Vodka.

There doesn’t seem to be a curated history for Penne alla Vodka. In researching this dish, I found conflicting stories on Wikipedia. Frankly, I think the version that the dish was created to increase sales of vodka seems plausible.

I use red pepper flakes to give the penne alla vodka a little heat and I like to use pancetta for flavor and texture. Some recipes call for peas, which is great for both taste and eye appeal, but husband doesn’t eat them, unfortunately.

The sauce is tomato-based, built on the fat of the sautéed pancetta and some shallots and a little garlic. This is not a dish dominated by any one flavor in my opinion. It’s a lovely meld of creaminess with a slight acidity, saltiness and a touch of heat. The addition of the cream at the end smooths out the sauce and with the starch from pasta, this is indeed a rich and creamy dish!

Note: The most important step is to stir constantly once the liquid comes to a bowl. The pasta sheds starch, which falls to the bottom of the pan and scorches easily. Be sure to have everything in place before cooking – the table set, salad made, bread sliced, etc. The dish is done when the pasta is cooked according to the time on the package.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, pancetta and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the pancetta has rendered its fat. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds.

one-pot pasta recipe

Add the tomatoes, vodka, cream, water and pasta; stir to combine.

one-pot pasta recipe

Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, lower slightly to prevent the liquid from overflowing. Cook for the recommended time on the pasta package for al dente.

Note: The most important step is to stir constantly once the liquid comes to a bowl. The pasta sheds starch, which falls to the bottom of the pan and scorches easily. Be sure to have everything in place before cooking – the table set, salad made, bread sliced, etc. The dish is done when the pasta is cooked according to the time on the package.

one-pot pasta recipe

Stir in the cheese off heat and top each bowl with parsley and/or basil.

one-pot pasta recipe

Watch the Penne alla Vodka video here.
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One-Pot Penne alla Vodka

bowl of penne alla vodka pasta with garnish

A quick and easy one-pot pasta dish great for a busy weeknight.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
Scale

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups minced onion or shallot
4 ounces pancetta, minced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced cloves garlic (3 medium cloves)
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional more at your discretion)
1 can (15 ounces) fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups water
1 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for the table                       

Garnish

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley or basil

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, pancetta and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the pancetta has rendered its fat.

Add the garlic and pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, vodka, cream, water and pasta; stir to combine.

Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, lower slightly to prevent the liquid from overflowing. Cook for the recommended time on the pasta package for al dente.

Stir in the cheese off heat and top each bowl with parsley and/or basil.

Notes

The most important step is to stir constantly once the liquid comes to a bowl. The pasta sheds starch, which falls to the bottom of the pan and scorches easily. Be sure to have everything in place before cooking – the table set, salad made, bread sliced, etc.

 

 

Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

I was recently confronted with an abundance of multi-colored bell peppers. Peppers are a funny ingredient. Unlike zucchini, another prolific crop, which is easily turned into quick breads and muffins, fritters and casseroles, peppers are rarely the star of the dish.

Think sausage with peppers and onions, fajitas come with sautéed peppers and there are so many recipes that call for peppers to be chopped or diced and added to other aromatics such as onions, garlic, celery and/or carrots as the foundation of a recipe. The only time they stand on their own is as a shell for stuffing. And this is where it gets interesting.

Stuffed Peppers

There are so many different ingredients to choose from. Ground meat of any type is suitable and also optional. There are a multitude of grains and beans to choose from. Add chopped vegetables and herbs and moisten with a sauce and top off with some crumbled or shredded cheese and you have a delicious entrée.

Watch the Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers Video Here.

 

Along with the peppers, I also had a few eggplants and decided to go with a Greek-style stuffed pepper. Start by sautéing some ground lamb and diced onion with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, oregano and just a bit of cinnamon. To keep it moist, I added a thawed pint of tomato sauce I’d made earlier in the season. Cube the eggplant and toss in couple of cups along with more of those bell peppers cut into small pieces. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. To finish in a traditional Greek style stir in chopped Kalamata olives and crumbled Feta cheese.

Stuffed Peppers

While the sauce simmers, slice off the tops and remove the core, seeds and membrane and season the insides with a sprinkle of kosher salt and a grind or two of fresh pepper.

I intended to freeze the stuffed peppers in batches for future use and needed to
partially cook the yellow bell peppers that would house the filling. The pre-cooking step deactivates the ripening enzymes to ensure that the peppers retain their color, shape and flavor.

Stuffed Peppers

Place the prepared bell peppers upright in a baking dish. and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Pop in the microwave on high for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Stuff each shell with the filling.

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Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Use the abundance of vegetables at the farmers’ market to make these delicious and eye-appealing Greek-style stuffed peppers with lamb or to keep it vegan, use a grain such as orzo or quinoa in lieu of the lamb. Keep it colorful and use a variety of colors!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 85 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 bell peppers, tops removed, seeds, ribs and stems removed, save tops
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Filling
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 ½ cups minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced cloves garlic (3 medium cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers, any color
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) fired roasted tomatoes or a pint of tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish
  3. Lined baking sheet to catch any spills
  4. Season the inside of each bell pepper with a sprinkle of kosher salt and a grind or two of fresh pepper. Place upright in a baking dish.
  5. Note: If you are making in advance and planning to freeze, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Pop in the microwave on high for 3 minutes or just until slightly softened.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the lamb and onions, using the edge of a wooden spoon to break up the meat into a crumbly mix. Cook until the meat is no longer red.
  7. Stir in the oregano, garlic and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes or tomato sauce and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in the olives and feta off heat and stuff each pepper with the filling.
  10. Cover tightly with foil and place on a lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, one hour for frozen peppers.

 

Cobb Salad

Composed Salad

Cobb salad is delicious for an afternoon luncheon or for a warm weather dinner.

Watch the Cobb Salad Video Here.

Check out our How To Sauté Chicken Breasts  and the “Finger Test” videos.

A Cobb salad is a composed salad. The ingredients are presented in rows, rather than tossed, for an eye-appealing presentation. Pour dressing over everything and serve!

Composed Salad

The presentation creates a lovely balance of color, texture and flavors.

Composed Salad

The salad originated at the Brown Derby in LA, supposedly put together late in the evening at the end of service using what was left in the kitchen.

Composed Salad

This is a quick and easy meal to make ahead; dress at the last minute for a light and refreshing lunch or dinner.

 

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Cobb Salad

Cobb salad is a composed salad, which simply means the ingredients are not tossed together but laid out in a colorful and eye appealing way. Quick and easy recipe for lunch or dinner

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: One-Dish Meal/Salad
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Ingredients

Vinaigrette

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup chopped chives

1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

¼ teaspoon coarse salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Salad

6 cups chopped lettuce (Romaine, Bibb, watercress)

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

4 slices cooked and coarsely chopped bacon

1 pound cooked whole boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 hard boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise

2 Hass avocado, peeled and sliced crosswise

4 ounces blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

Vinaigrette

Combine the oil, vinegar, chives, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar. Close tightly and shake well.

Salad

Strew the lettuce across the bottom of a large platter.

Arrange each ingredient in a row.

Pour dressing over everything and serve.

 

Bacon Spinach Quiche

Quiche

Quiche is simply an omelet in a pre-baked pie shell. It makes for a different presentation than what we usually eat for breakfast and you don’t have to make toast, the crust is a delicious alternative. See our post video on how to blind bake a pie crust.

NOTE: Since taping this video, I now prefer to completely blind bake the crust and not partially as suggested in the video.

Watch the Quiche Video Here:

Quiche is also a wonderful way to use leftovers. Dice up the remains from a charcuterie platter, sharp cheese, salty spicy salami, dice some onions and garlic add in some fresh herbs and you have an improvised quiche. Leftover steamed or roasted vegetables are also great starters for quiche.

Quiche

Use your imagination when you go to the store; look at the fresh produce and select what strikes your fancy and don’t forget some fresh herbs. Pick a cheese, almost any cheese works, that pairs well with your produce or suits your mood that day. The possibilities are endless.

Quiche

Quiche is delicious served hot out of the oven, but it’s also great at room temperature and it travels well. Pack it for lunch for the kids or for yourself at work.

Quiche

Watch the Quiche Video Here
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Bacon Spinach Quiche

quiche

A quiche is simply an omelet in a pastry shell. The possibilities for fillings are endless. Use leftovers or your imagination to create an unending variety!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins
  • Yield: 1 ten-inch pie 1x
  • Category: Eggs
  • Method: Baking
Scale

Ingredients

  • One single pie crust
  • 6 large eggs (1 cup)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoons coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups diced Gruyere cheese (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, squeezed dry
  • ½ cup finely diced cooked bacon, about 5 ounces
  • ½ cup minced shallot

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the eggs in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until foamy.
  3. Whisk in the half and half, salt and pepper.
  4. Strew the cheese, spinach, bacon and shallots over the bottom of a half blind-baked pie shell.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over all. And put on a foil line baking tray.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set.
  7. Let sit for 10 minutes for slicing.

Notes

Line a baking tray with foil or parchment and place the quiche on this for baking. If the quiche leaks, the baking tray contains the mess and keeps your oven clean.

The quiche needs to rest before slicing to allow the eggs to finish gelling.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8 portions

Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup

Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup

Quick and easy Tuscan kale and bean soup is a hearty vegan recipe. It’s also dairy-free, gluten-free and fits a paleo diet! If you can’t find Tuscan or Lacinto kale, substitute escarole or any other hearty green.

Chop your vegetables small so a few different pieces fit on the spoon at once for best flavor and enjoyment.

Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup

Rinse and drain the kale or greens and coarsely chop.

Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup

Don’t overcook the greens to maintain a vibrant green and slight texture.

Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup

If you’re family doesn’t favor meatless dishes, simply brown 1 pound of loose sausage in the oil before sweating the aromatics or add 3 cups shredded cooked chicken at the end.

A little grated Asiago cheese makes a delicious garnish.

Watch the Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup Video Here.

 

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Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup

Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup

This is a quick and easy soup to make. If you can’t find Tuscan or Lacinto kale, substitute escarole or any other hearty green. If you’re family doesn’t favor meatless dishes, simply brown 1 pound of loose sausage in the oil before sweating the aromatics or add 3 cups shredded cooked chicken at the end. Parmesan cheese on top is optional!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeldd
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 two-cup servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Italian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups stock or water
  • 1 can (x ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 bunch washed, trimmed and coarsely chopped Tuscan kale, or other hearty green
  • 1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • Garnish: freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, with a cover, over medium heat.
  2. Note: If you choose to use sausage in the soup cook in the hot oil until browned, using a wooden spoon to break the sausage in to a small crumble.
  3. Stir in the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper; cover and sweat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Lower the heat a little if the vegetables are browning.
  4. Add the stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the beans and kale or other greens, return to a boil, lower the heat and cook another 8 minutes or until the greens are tender, but not soft.
  6. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if you like.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: two cups

 

Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken Scarpariello is a favorite dish for both my husband and my daughter Claire. Margot and I don’t have the tolerance for spice like they do, so I’ve never had the courage to order it. For those of you unfamiliar with this dish, it’s chicken (or veal or pork) with hot (and I mean HOT) cherry peppers, fennel and in some instances sausage.

Chicken Scarpariello is also a favorite of our friends Bob & Lynn. I decided I would venture forth and make it for Bobby’s birthday because it’s one of his very favorite dishes, along with the Ricotta Cheesecake that I created for him a few years ago.

This recipe needs chicken parts with skin and bone on. It cooks up crispy and moist.

Chicken Scarpariello

When I opened the jar of hot cherry peppers and took a whiff, I gasped. The heat went straight up my nose and down my throat; I knew I was in trouble, but no turning back!

I seared the chicken, removed to a holding dish and then sauteed the fennel, onions, sweet bell peppers, garlic and oregano in olive oil. Once the vegetables softened, I added white wine and 1/4 cup of the bottled pepper juice and some red potatoes. The chicken went back in the pan with half a jar of the peppers strewn across the pan.

Note: I omitted the sausages because Lynn doesn’t eat them. To include, just give a quick sear to brown in the pan after searing the chicken, then set aside with the chicken. Add back to the pan with the chicken and cherry peppers as instructed above.

The dish can be made ahead up to this point and held, covered, in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Let the pan sit on the counter for an hour before roasting to warm up a bit.

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or a little longer if refrigerated. The chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 175ºF on a meat thermometer.Chicken Scarpariello

Remove the chicken to a warm platter and boil the sauce to reduce it for about five minutes. Check your potatoes to see if they need a few minutes more. Add the vegetables to the platter with the chicken.

Stir in the butter off heat and whisk until melted.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and peppers, garnish with fennel fronds.

WARNING

The sauce is very spicy. I served it on the side. The chicken and vegetables are flavorful and have tolerable heat, but the sauce brings the heat to another level; I wasn’t able to handle it. Everyone else couldn’t get enough of it. I though my husband was going to drink it!

 

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Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken Scarpariello has fennel, sweet bell peppers and hot cherry peppers. It’s a one dish meal, just add some potatoes! Cook and serve in the same pot.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Chicken
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole roasting chicken cut into eight pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sausages, such as sweet or hot Italian or Chorizo
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 each yellow and red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup hot cherry pepper juice
  • 1 pound tiny red potatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 jar hot cherry peppers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Garnish: Fennel fronds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat.
  2. Season the chicken, both sides, with the salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the chicken for three minutes, skin slide down. Don’t crowd the pan, sear in batches as needed.
  4. Turn and cook for one minute more.
  5. Remove the chicken to a holding dish.
  6. Sear the sausages, if using and remove to the dish with the chicken.
  7. Stir in the fennel, onion, garlic and oregano and sweat for 3 minutes.
  8. Pour in the pepper juice and wine, bring to a boil and deglaze the pan by scrapping the fond with a wooden spoon. Reduce the liquid to one-quarter cup.
  9. Add the chicken stock and then return the sausage and chicken to the pan, skin side up. Add the cherry peppers.
  10. Note: The chicken can be made ahead to this point. Cover and refrigerate. Take out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before roasting.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or a little longer if refrigerated. The chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 175ºF on a meat thermometer.
  12. Remove the chicken to a warm platter and boil the sauce to reduce it for about five minutes. Check your potatoes to see if they need a few minutes more. Add the vegetables to the platter with the chicken.
  13. Stir in the butter off heat and whisk until melted.
  14. Pour the sauce over the chicken and peppers, garnish with fennel fronds.

Notes

Serve the sauce on the side for those who are sensitive to spicy food.

One-Pot Chicken Dinner

This may be the best chicken I ever made! I used a peculiar method of mixing two totally incompatible cooking techniques: roasting and braising. Crazy right? But it worked. And, it’s a One-Pot Chicken Dinner!

Nothing is more satisfying than making a meal in one pot. A One-Pot Chicken Dinner is even better! Cooking the chicken on the bone with the skin on creates a very moist chicken. And using a herb butter mix and both under and over the skin of the chicken delivers outstanding flavor.

I’ve recently come across a few recipes for roasting a chicken in a heavy-duty pot such as a LeCreuset Dutch oven, which is an iron pan with an enamel coating. An excellent braising vehicle. The idea of using it to roast seemed a bit odd at first. Usually you want a roasting pan that has lower sides to allow the heat to reach the chicken and brown the skin. The problem with this method is that the breast is done before the thigh meat and continued cooking makes the breast meat dry.

It’s Really an Uncovered Braise

I thought I’d give this method a try and see what happens. My take is that it’s an “uncovered braise.” Leaving the cover off allows the top to get some color, but the cooking environment is still quite moist and the skin doesn’t crisp all over like a roasted chicken. However, the flavor and the moistness of the chicken is by far the best I’ve ever had! And, most importantly both the thigh meat and the breast are done at the same time. The intensity of the heat from the high sides of the pot accomplishes this beautifully and those high sides also keep moisture in the pot, preventing the chicken from drying out. A win win!

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I chose to use a lower cooking temperature than I saw in some recipes. I did start out at 475 degrees F for the first 20 minutes. The chicken gets a little color on the top and the pan heats up quickly. I then chose 300 degrees F for the cooking time vs. 350 degrees recommended in other recipes. This is more of the braise approach – low and slow.

Add vegetables to this for a one-pot dinner. Start with onions and garlic as the base, some thinly sliced red potatoes and anything else you like. I included some chopped chard, both stems and leaves. Don’t forget some fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and/or parsley, salt, and pepper.DSCN5066

Rub a combination of melted butter, more of the herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper under and over the skin and pop a quartered lemon into the cavity with a little salt and pepper.

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Cooking the chicken on top of the vegetables and letting all the flavors marry is a wonderful way to get dinner done in one pot. Check to make sure your potatoes are completely cooked. If not, finish on the stovetop while the chicken rests and then stir in the coarsely chopped chard leaves to wilt.

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Place the vegetables on a warm platter and top with the carved chicken.

The entire recipe can be prepared in advance, just take it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before roasting to let the pan warm up or add 5-7 minutes to the initial cooking time.

 

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One-Pot Chicken Dinner

Nothing is more satisfying than making an entire meal in one pot. A One-Pot Chicken Dinner is even better! Cooking the chicken on the bone with the skin on creates a very moist chicken. And using a herb butter mix and both under and over the skin of the chicken delivers great flavor.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 80 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 mins
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Roast/Braise
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches rainbow chard
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 large red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 three to four pound roaster
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • Garnish
  • More freshly chopped herbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Wash the chard and separate the leaves from the stems. Trim the stem bottoms and mince. Roughly chop the leaves and save for later.
  3. Grease the bottom of the pan with the butter or pour in the oil.
  4. Add the chard stems, onion, potatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  5. Combine the melted butter, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Lift up the skin and using one-half of the butter mixture rub all over each breast and on the legs and thighs. Rub the remaining butter on the outside of the chicken.
  6. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with a little salt and pepper and stuff in the lemon quarters.
  7. Tie the legs and place on top of the vegetables.
  8. Place the chicken in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees F and cook for another 25-30 minutes per pound. The internal temperature of the chicken should register 170 degrees F.

Notes

The recipe can be prepared in advance, just take it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before roasting to let the pan warm up or add 5-7 minutes to the initial cooking time.

 

 

 

Shellfish and Sausage Gumbo

Cajun Cuisine

I was looking for something different to make for dinner the other night and Shellfish and Sausage Gumbo came to mind. I’d never made a gumbo before and did some research. There is a spice mix called Cajun spice mix that I was pretty sure I could find at Fairway. While I was there I picked some petite lobster tails, shrimp, scallops, and sausages.

Any gumbo requires a roux. This is a thickener made of equal amounts by weight of vegetable oil or butter and flour. For this style of Louisiana cooking, a dark roux is preferred for the depth of flavor it brings to the dish. The thickening power is weakened by the long cooking time but that’s easily remedied by adding okra to the pot or sprinkling a little filé powder (dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree) to each bowl.

Cajun Cuisine

The Roux

There are two ways to make a roux either on the stovetop (30-40 minutes) or in the oven (1 ½ hours). I was in no hurry that afternoon, wanted to do some other things, and opted to make the roux in the oven. The stovetop version requires a little more attention. The oven version you have to stir a couple of times, so I set the timer for 30 minutes twice and gave a quick stir each time.

I diced up lots of aromatics: onions, celery, green and red bell peppers, scallions and garlic for a flavorful base with chicken stock, fire-roasted tomatoes and sausages.

To easily extract the lobster tails, I cut through the underside with kitchen shears before cooking. I wanted the lobster shells in the broth to add flavor and removed them before serving. These went in first for ten minutes followed by the shrimp and scallops and cooked for another 5-6 minutes. Don’t boil or the seafood toughens.

Cajun Cuisine

Mound some rice in a bowl and surround with the gumbo and top with a handful of sliced scallion greens.

 

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Shellfish and Sausage Gumbo

Cajun Cuisine

Don’t skimp on the dark roux – it adds lots of flavor that is typical of a gumbo. Use file powder to thicken the gumbo, let each individual sprinkle over his/her own bowl.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
  • Category: Stews and Braises
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vegetable oil
  • 2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons minced cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix
  • 4 smoked sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups stock
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) fire-roasted or diced tomatoes
  • 4 petite lobster tails
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 sea scallops
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • GARNISH
  • Sliced scallions

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the oil and flour together in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring 3 times.
  3. Stir in the onion and salt and sweat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the celery, peppers and scallions to the roux and continuing cooking, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic and Cajun spice mix and cook until fragrant.
  6. Add the sausages, stock and tomatoes; bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. The stew can be made in advance to this point. Thirty minutes before dinner, bring the gumbo back to a boil and then add the lobster tails. Simmer for 12 minutes.
  8. Add the shrimp and scallops and continue cooking on low for 5-6 minutes.
  9. Serve over rice and garnish with scallions.

Notes

Don’t boil the gumbo after adding the shellfish; it gets very tough.

 

 

Spicy Beef Chili

My cousins are driving down from Conesus NY tomorrow for lunch; we’re having Spicy Beef Chili and garlic bread with triple chocolate and pumpkin biscotti for dessert.

They make a round trip in one day, five hours each way! Yes, they’re a little nuts but Linda and Cyndi love road trips and Linda’s husband Dave is a good sport and comes along too. The reason for the short visit is they live on a farm. Not a food farm, a horse farm, and the animals need them back in time for dinner.

The farm has been in the family since I was a little kid. I remember spending many weekends there and learning how to groom the horses and muck a stall. I’m glad my little rascal Lacy is not as labor intensive!

Lacy

I hadn’t given the menu much thought. Lunch is somehow much easier than a dinner party; there were no to do lists or even a grocery list. When I got to the meat counter they had some coarsely ground Black Angus beef for chili and that was my inspiration. I picked up some bell peppers, a jalapeño, a head of garlic, canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes and kidney beans. I didn’t give much thought to the garnishes until later and Eric will pick those up tomorrow am and get a baguette for the garlic bread.

A good rule to remember when chopping vegetables is to look at the size of the ingredients in the recipe. In this case, the kidney beans. Cut the bell peppers into a dice similar in size to the beans. This allows a nice combination of ground meat, peppers, bean and tomato to get on a spoon and you enjoy all the flavors together in one mouthful.

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The jalapeño, however, should be minced. The smaller the cut the more cells that are exposed and more flavor transfers to the chili. Also, you don’t want to be the one to get a large piece, especially if it’s particularly hot!

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Ground beef cooks up quickly, no long braising needed, and this chili comes together in about an hour and a half. Start by browning the meat on high in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and break it up into crumbles with the edge of a wooden spoon.

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Add the onions and cook five minutes. Add the chopped peppers, jalapeño, garlic, and the spices. Stir into the meat; the fat and heat release the essential oils of the all those delicious spices more effectively that liquid. Cook and stir occasionally for five minutes.

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Stir in the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 45 minutes.

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Add the drained beans and cook until heated through, about five minutes.

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Put out bowls of sour cream, shredded cheese and thinly sliced scallions to top off the chili.

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It’s a delicious fall lunch that hopefully will keep them full for their long trek home along with some baggies of biscotti for snacking.

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Beef Chili

Ground beef cooks up quickly, no long braising needed, and this chili comes together in about an hour and a half. Adding the spices into the meat and vegetables allows the spices to bloom in the fat before adding the liquids.

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Beef
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 each red and yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño, minced (1 large jalapeño)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced (4 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground ancho chili
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried, ground chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Garnishes
  • sour cream, shredded Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese, thinly sliced scallions.

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown while crumbling the meat with the edge of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bell peppers, jalapeño, garlic, ancho chili, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, chipotle, cinnamon, paprika, thyme and bay leaves and cook on medium-high for five minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Add the beans and continue cooking another 5 minutes, until the beans are hot.

Notes

Chili freezes well.