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Ellie Krieger’s Korean Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

19 Feb

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Here’s a hot, spicy stir-fry to get you through the week. Korean Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry. Three stand-out ingredients make this recipe great: lots of broccoli, lean sirloin and crunchy, spicy kimchi.

Broccoli is such a good vehicle for soaking up all the juicy sauces and spices of a stir-fry. The broccoli gets steamed in the microwave to keep the recipe fast and healthy.

I put my money on the table for a nice cut of sirloin from the farmer’s market. I got it from Sawkill Farm in Red Hook–totally worth the few extra dollars for this beautiful piece of meat. If you are trying to keep things lean, sirloin is the way to go. Generally, if the name of the cut has the word “loin” or “round” in it, it is a lean cut.

Every time I eat kimchi at a restaurant, I love it, so why haven’t I thought to use it home?! You can buy kimchi at most markets now, and I definitely want to try making it myself one day.

Note that the recipe calls for low-sodium beef broth. I’m not usually a fan of beef broth because I don’t like how most of them taste. Instead, I used water with a dash of soy sauce. I’m just giving you options if you are like me and get fussy for good beef broth.

This stir-fry hit the spot for me this week. Serve it over rice, and you’ve got healthy restaurant-style food in the comfort of your own home.

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I am obsessed with Ellie Krieger’s latest cookbook, Weeknight Wonders. It is definitely helping me get out of my rut in the kitchen. So far I made her pork tenderloin with fennel and grapes, warm bulgur salad with feta and grapes, simple meatballs marinara with spaghetti, a variation of her tuna and white bean salad, and her earl grey spiced fruit compote. I am excited to try more of her 30-minute recipes.

Ellie Krieger’s Korean Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

from Weeknight Wonders

makes 4 servings

1 head of broccoli

1 pound beef sirloin, trimmed of all visible fat (I used slightly less, a 0.7 pound cut)

2 tablespoons canola or olive oil, divided

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

1 1/4 cups store-bought kimchi (10 ounces)

1 cup low sodium beef broth (I used 1 cup water + 1 tablespoon soy sauce)

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce

Cut the large stems off the broccoli, peel them, then slice them into 18-inch-thick coins. Cut the top into florets about 2 inches in diameter. Place the broccoli, with the water still clinging to it from washing it, in a microwave-safe dish. Cover tightly and microwave on high power until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. (Alternatively, you can steam the broccoli in a pot on the stove for 4 minutes).

Thinly slice the beef against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a very large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown until just cooked through and slightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. (I like to use tongs here). Transfer to a plate.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the onion and garlic and roughly chop the kimchi. After transferring the beef to the plate, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet, then add the onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.

While the onions are cooking, add whisk together the broth (or water + soy sauce if using), cornstarch, and chili-garlic sauce until the cornstarch is dissolved.

Add the broth mixture to the pan, turn the heat to high, and cook, stirring, until the liquid begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the beef with any accumulated juices, broccoli, and kimchi and cook until just warmed through, 2 minutes more.

Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

Calories: 330; Total Fat 13g (Sat Fat 2.5g, Mono Fat 6.5g, Poly Fat 2.3g); Protein 33g; Carb 21g; Fiber 6g; Cholesterol 50mg; Sodium 660mg

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Roasted Eggplants with Ground Lamb and Yogurt Tahini Sauce

8 Oct

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Eggplant season is still here, and I’ve seen loads of eggplant-related recipes featured on the NYTimes lately, like Martha Rose Shulman’s Lasagna with Tomato Sauce and Roasted Eggplant, Melissa Clark’s Eggplant Dip for non-eggplant eaters, and the awesome Eggplant Marinana Sandwich from Frankies Spuntino Restaurant in Brooklyn. Inspiration central.

It just so happens that while I was ‘fondling’ the beautiful eggplants at the market the other day, my eye flecked over to the Brooklyn Cured meat booth, and they had lamb sausages on special–with Greek yogurt, lemon, and parsley. Suddenly my brain switched from craving a hearty winter pasta to Mediterranean mezze. The weather has been so lovely lately, so I figured I could spare a hearty pasta for a few more weeks. And then I remembered Deb’s recipe for Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Cumin-Crisped Chickpeas from her cookbook!

Since I found this amazing lamb, I swapped my usual chickpea preference for ground lamb. With a few heaps of roasted cauliflower (I didn’t use harissa this time but if I had it around I might have…) and warm whole wheat pita, I felt very proud of my meal.

The smaller eggplants are great for roasting in larger hunks (oxymoron?!). I quartered mine because I like a greater surface area for browning on the edges but still being soft on the inside.

As you can see, I smothered my meal in the yogurt-tahini sauce. I ended up making a second batch of the sauce the next day because it was just so good for dipping and spreading. Threw some fresh mint into the mix, but you could use whatever herbs you like, or nix the herbs and go garlic and paprika! This may be my new hummus. And all you have to do is whisk.

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Roasted Eggplant + Ground Lamb

From the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

2-3 small eggplants

olive oil 

salt

1/2 onion, chopped fine

1 lb. of ground lamb or ground lamb sausage

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take the tops off the eggplants, and either half them or quarter them. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil, place the eggplant pieces cut side up and brush the exposed sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, flip, and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the skin is dimpled and the interior glazed and golden.

About 10 minutes before the eggplants are finished roasting, heat a (cast-iron if you have one) skillet. Add a touch of olive oil and saute the onion until starting to brown. Add in the lamb and cook for about 5 minutes, until no longer pink inside. Drain the fat.

Serve the lamb with the roasted eggplant (you can roast cauliflower, too!), the yogurt tahini sauce, and some warm (whole wheat) pita bread.

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

2/3 cup plain yogurt (I used Stonyfield low-fat yogurt)

1/3 cup tahini

1 garlic clove, minced

pinch of salt

lemon juice, to taste (about 1-3 Tablespoons)

fresh herbs, chopped (I used fresh mint)

Whisk everything together. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Give it a sprinkle of paprika for a pop of color!

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

24 Jul

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Every few weeks, I gather my pennies and buy a nice piece of meat from my happy farmer’s market vendors. I like the challenge of picking out a random cut and learning to cook it with love. If I am going to spend the money on a well-raised meat product, I want to cook it up special.

I recently picked up some stew beef (before that was lamb merguez sausages for a spicy pasta dish. woah!). For a week, the stew beef sat in the freezer as I threw around ideas on what to make with it. My farmer’s market vendor mentioned beef carnitas, which sounded like a nice way to ring in the summer–a meal of beef carnitas, charred tortillas, avocados galore, and summer tomatoes.

But somehow I got hooked on the idea of a simmering beef stew. Yes, a simmering beef stew, in the middle of July. I guess I like to torture myself (see: last year’s carrot cake with cream cheese frosting). On the other hand, all of the food magazines (and fashion, too!) are prepping for their winter issues in the middle of summer, so I am simply blending in with the crowd on that front.

After flipping through recipes and asking trusted cooks well versed in meat, beef bourguignon was the answer. But alas, I don’t have a Dutch oven. My roommate, however, has a slow cooker, and it was high time I thought to use it.

To help me get in the mood, I watched this video all the way through at least twice, maybe more (oh hush!).

This recipe is involved. But having the slow cooker do most of the actual cooking helps out a ton. I divided the cooking process into 2 days. Day 1 was my slow cooking of the beef. On day 2, I re-heated the beef in the slow cooker and added in sautéed mushrooms and pearl onions, and some more red wine!

I served my beef bourguignon with lightly buttered egg noodles and a rustic romaine salad with some slivered almonds. And some bread on the side, with olive oil and salt for dipping and sprinkling.

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Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

serves 6, adapted from the infamous Julia Child, and an Epicurious Slow-Cook recipe

**I used less meat than Julia recommends. Why? Because meat can get expensive, and using less of it is better for me, you, the animals, and the environment. 1 1/2 pounds of meat can stretch to feed a lot of people when it is bulked up with delicious buttery vegetables and red wine sauce. A little meat + a lot of veg=my idea of a great meal.

For the Slow-Cooked Beef: 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 lbs stew beef, cut into rustic cubes

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cloves minced garlic

1 bay leaf

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup red wine (I used a beaujolais wine)

salt and pepper, to taste

For the Braised Pearl Onions:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

18-24 pearl onions, peeled (I used frozen ones and defrosted them before cooking)

1/2 cup of chicken broth or red wine

For the Sautéed Mushrooms:

2 tablespoons of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lb of mushrooms

Directions: 

Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the stew beef and sauté until browned on all sides. Place the browned beef in the slow cooker pot.

In the same pan, add a dash more oil and sauté the onion and carrot for about 5 minutes. Add the flour, tomato paste, garlic, and bay leaf and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the broth and wine and stir. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker pot with the beef. Cover and cook on low setting for 7-8 hours.

Once the meat is tender, pour the contents of the slow cooker pot into a sieve set over a saucepan. Return the contents back to the slow cooker pot.

**At this point, you can let the beef mixture and the sauce cool and set it in the refrigerator overnight. If you are eating right away, continue with the rest of the recipe.

Skim the fat, if any, off of the top of the sauce. Slowly heat the sauce until it thickens slightly. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Follow the directions for the pearl onions and mushrooms. Once they are sautéed and ready, add them to the slow cooker meat mixture with the reduced sauce and cook on low for 1-2 hours.

Finishing touches may include a cup or so more of red wine, salt and pepper, more garlic….

Serve over buttered egg noodles.

For the Pearl Onions: 

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet. Once bubbling, add the peeled onions and sauté for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible. You cannot expect to brown them uniformly.

Pour in the 1/2 cup of broth or wine. Simmer slowly for about 15 minutes.

For the Mushrooms:

Place a skillet over high heat with butter and oil. As soon as you see the butter foam subsiding, indicating the pan is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4-5 minutes. During the sauté the mushrooms will first absorb the fat. In 2-3 minutes the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.

Cornbread Casserole (aka “Tamale Pie”)

14 Apr

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Casseroles. Not too much effort to prepare, and they can yield multiple servings. So great for feeding a crowd, or a smattering for many days.

Kind of like a smoothie (here me out…), a casserole can pack in a lot of healthy (or not so healthy…up to you) foods into a meal. We’ve got carbs (cornbread!), veggies, and protein (beans and/or meat and cheese) all in one. Some of my other favorite casseroles include: lasagna and matzo lasagna.

I fondly remember my college days, living in a co-op house with 60+ students, where this sort of cornbread topped casserole dish was in heavy rotation (along with “lentil loaf,” homemade pizza nights, and giant pasta-bakes…).

This type of meal is a great week night throw-together that I imagine would please a family with young kids or teenagers, too. Perfect on it’s own, or maybe with a light side salad.

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The best part about this type of casserole is that you really do not need a recipe except for maybe the cornbread topping. I just threw in a handful or this and that, with some dashes of “tex-mex” style spices. This was my “kitchen sink” casserole; a great way to use up the odds and ends laying around from the week.

My casserole had a thinnish layer of cornbread on top…but if you really love cornbread, you may want to double the proportions for the recipe below. Or feel free to whip up your favorite cornbread recipe and just plop it on top of the veggie mixture before baking.

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Cornbread Casserole (aka “Tamale Pie”)

loosely adapted from NYTimes

bakes up in a 3-qt casserole dish

Filling:

1 onion, chopped

2-4 different kinds of veggies, chopped (I used zucchini, mushrooms, spinach…)

optional: 2 pre-cooked chicken sausages, chopped (or ground beef/turkey)

about 2 cups of black beans (or pinto, or kidney, or black-eyed peas…)

1 cup of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

spices: cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper (no need to measure, just add some dashes to taste)

optional: some chopped chili in adobo sauce (from the can)

Topping:

3/4 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

1 egg

1/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

grated cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large skillet, heat some oil and add the onion, veggies, and sausage. Cook until the onions start to soften and everything starts turning slightly golden brown. Add the black beans, tomato sauce, and spices. Simmer for 5-10 minutes more. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish.

To make the corn bread: Whisk together the dry ingredients (corn meal/flour/sugar/baking powder/salt) in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vegetable oil. Add the wet to the dry. Loosely cover the veggie mixture with the corn bread topping. The topping may disappear slightly into the veggie mixture but will rise during baking and form a layer of corn bread. Optional: add some grated cheese on top before or mid-way through baking. Bake until the corn bread is brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Rigatoni Bolognese (with ground turkey)

24 Feb

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This was my first time making bolognese at home, and dang, it made me realize that it is high time to start expanding my horizons in the kitchen. Bolognese is just too easy and too good not to have made before.

Bolognese is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. As the sauce simmers on the stove, the strong notes of red wine and tomato complement the already savory-delicious smell of meat. The ultimate meal for these dog days of winter…

I chose to follow Jackie Newgent’s recipe, which uses ground turkey instead of the traditional ground beef. She also adds in some green tea and orange juice to replace some of the traditionally heavier bolognese ingredients like cream. These help build a more complex flavor without weighing the sauce down.

Jackie Newgent is a classically trained chef, registered dietitian, cookbook author, and media personality. Her latest book is full of quick, healthy recipes that “focus on filling ingredients with a contemporary edge.” I have had the pleasure of meeting Jackie in person and corresponding with her through email and social media. She is the nicest person, who truly understands the meaning of good food.

I purchased my ground turkey from Di Paola Turkey Farm. They have a stand at the Columbia farmer’s market (in NYC) every Sunday. I also threw in some mushrooms that I had on-hand from Madura Farms (based in Orange County, NY). Mushrooms go great with tomatoes and meat. I won’t go into detail here, but it involves glutamates and nucleotides…check out this interview with the editors of the newest Cooks Illustrated Cookbook to learn more…

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Rigatoni Bolognese (with ground turkey)

recipe adapted from 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes by Jackie Newgent, RD

**This made a LOT of sauce; but it was great for leftovers for the next few days…probably got about 8 servings worth??  

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

3 garlics cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 jar marina sauce or 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup unsweetened green tea (or water)

Add ons: fresh parsley, chopped + Parmesan + black pepper

1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook, stirring until fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a plate.

2. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the onion, mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of the wine, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and saute until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and dried oregano and continue cooking for 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the remaining wine, scrape up any browned bits in the pan, and cook while stirring for 1 minute.

3. Return the turkey to the skillet and add the marinara, orange juice, green tea, and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt.

4. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 25 minutes. While the bolognese simmers, get your rigatoni boiling.

5. Once your pasta is done cooking, spoon some bolognese over the noodles, adding fresh chopped parsley and some Parmesan cheese.

Kitchen Madness: Maple Bourbon Cider, Beef Stroganoff made Healthy, Pumpkin Millet Bread, and Sausage Pesto Ravioli

13 Dec

I’ve been feeling the back-and-forth bounce. I’ve been trying to cook comfort foods but with a healthy twist. Sometimes it totally works (millet pumpkin bread=phenomenal), sometimes it totally flops (made a coconut kale salad but added way to much large flake unsweetened coconut). And sometimes it just makes you crave a cocktail.

Maple Bourbon Cider. Got this recipe from Shutterbean and it is absolutely perfect. She also has a recipe for homemade amaretto which I look forward to making soon!

There’s apple cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, and bourbon. Lately I’ve been diggin’ Bulleit Bourbon. Good stuff. Oh, and I do not have a cocktail shaker, so I used my water bottle. Worked like a gem AND its portable 😉

This was a pre- (and post!) dinner cocktail. Yes, I made it twice in the same night, but don’t worry, I shared. Dinner was Mustard Green Beans with Beef Stroganoff made with 0% Greek yogurt instead of 21302983% sour cream. Definitely not as rich and creamy as the traditional, but still tasted great and saved on calories and fat (I needed the cals for my second cocktail). Thanks, Ellie!

And the smell of simmering mushrooms and onions with wine and beef broth is so Cozy. Winter. Night.

As if all of this cooking and eating wasn’t enough, I made Pumpkin Bread with millet, whole wheat pastry flour, coconut oil (no saturated fat), and honey instead of sugar. A moist cake with some crunch from the millet (adds fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium). I got the recipe from Cookie+Kate. Y to the UM. With an extra drizzle of honey on top.

It has been fun trying out your recipes, Tracy, Ellie, and Kate.

All of this experimenting in the kitchen makes a girl want to kick off her shoes and wake up with someone else cooking a meal for her. And this girl got exactly that. Ravioli, spinach, sausage, pesto, cream, black pepper. Ah, now this is bliss.

Happy Eating, everyone!

Warm Winter Meals…my go-to’s

11 Dec

I AM FREEZING!

Let’s you and me warm up with some cozy winter meals. I am rounding up a few of my go-to warm recipes that I find myself craving again and again.

Chicken Marbella: This chicken never fails to please…makes the house smell so cozy!

African G-Nut Stew: Savory recipes that call for peanut butter make me swoon.

Green n’ Yellow Risotto: Nothing screams warmth like a piping hot bowl of creamy risotto.

Mushroom Etc. and Sausage Ragu over Polenta: Cheesy polenta + Savory Sausage + Quickly Sauteed Veg

Lasagna! Layered pasta filled with veggies, basil, and ricotta. With a touch of fresh nutmeg for good measure.

Minestrone Soup. Warm broth, hearty beans, crusty bread.

Quiche. The savory pie that can be eaten morning, noon, or night.

Get your ovens preheating and your stove-tops flaming because it is time to warm things up for the cold winter ahead of us.