Friday, April 29, 2011

Slow Cookin'

On the urging of several friends and my sister who've jumped onto the slow cooker bandwagon, I finally caved and bought a crockpot a couple of months ago. I took it out of the box, washed it, and it's been sitting on my counter since. I had a friend coming over for dinner tonight so I decided it was time.

I wasn't really sure what type of cut to buy but I was lucky enough to encounter one of the butchers while he was stocking the meats. He suggested I stay away from the leaner cuts if I was slow cooking, and suggested a cut called blade shoulder.

Hearty Beef Stew


2 lb. piece of blade shoulder beef
I cut it into three portions, where it was easy to cut, removing some of the fat. Made a rub with salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and applied to all surfaces of meat. Heated olive oil in skillet and seared meat on each side for about two minutes. Added it to crockpot.

Add the following to the pot:

three small brown onions, sliced
10 carrots, peeled, cut into thirds
4 small red potatoes, whole, peeled
one cerrano, whole, sliced down the middle
several green onions, sliced
ginger paste
garlic paste
few tbs crushed tomatoes
rub -paprika, black pepper, salt, cumin
pinch cardamom powder
piece of cinnamon bark
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
couple tbs white vinegar

I threw all of it into the pot before going to bed, and voila! -it was all ready by the time I woke up in the morning. Okay, it was almost that simple. I did do a tasting and added a bit more salt and pepper to my liking.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grapefruit and blackberry salad w/agave balsamic dressing

I (finally) found a way to eat grapefruit and enjoy it!

mixed greens, sectioned grapefruit, blackberries

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

Combine all ingredients and shake well.
(Optional: emulsify ingredients in blender.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mom's Gobhi Paranthas

Okay, so technically I didn't make these. I did, however, stand over my mom's shoulder the entire time watching her prepare them. I had unexpectedly gone to my parents' home last weekend and my mother asked what I felt like eating. "Whatever is fine with me. Eggs?" She asked again, what I really wanted to eat. I normally don't ask her to make these because I feel like it's too much trouble, saving the request for special occasions... but she was insisting, so with a huge grin on my face, I asked, "do we have cauliflower?" She knew what I wanted. Gobhi paranthas -a type of stuffed, pan-fried flatbreads - are probably my favorite breakfast item.

Unlike the kinds you get at restaurants, mom hand cuts the cauliflower and other ingredients so you get big bites of flavor.

cauliflower, cilantro, ginger, cerranno peppers

A little patience is necessary for best results: