Incredible Lamb Stew

I wanted to make a lamb stew and just kept adding ingredients to a recipe from my recipe box.  Make this on a day when you have time at home and can enjoy the wonderful aroma.  Great for a day home watching football.  With the small amount of leftovers I had, I made empanadas (look for my post next week on how to make easy empanadas!).  It was great to get two totally different meals out of this one simple dish.

 

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Incredible Lamb Stew

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds cubed lamb
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, amount depends on hot much heat you want
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions

  1. In a dutch oven, heat oil, add onion, carrot and celery.  Cook over medium heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until onion is transparent.  Remove mixture, add lamb cubes and brown on all sides.  Return onion mixture to the pan.  Combine turmeric, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Sprinkle over meat and vegetables, toss to combine.  Add chicken broth, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 1 hour.  After one hour, add chickpeas and cook uncovered for an addition 1 1/2 hours, stir occasionally.  Add tomato paste, lime juice, vinegar and brown sugar.  Cook until thickened approx. 30 - 40 minutes.  Stir  occasionally.  Serve with rice.

Sweet Potato Rolls/Interesting Find – Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter

I had a large sweet potato sitting in my vegetable basket and thought today would be the perfect day to make Sweet Potato Rolls.  The leaves are turning and I am thinking fall foods.  This recipe makes thirty-six rolls so a definite recipe to try if you are having company over the fall holidays.  The first batch I made dinner roll size and then decided to give a creative twist and make pumpkin shaped rolls – easy to do – take your round dinner rolls, before baking flatten sightly, cut eight small cuts around the edges.  Poke the middle with the end of a wooden spoon, insert a sliver of pecan and bake.  

I came across Georgia Grinders at a Farmers Market in Atlanta.  I am a true fan of peanut butter and thought I would pick up a jar of their pecan butter.  When these rolls were baking, I thought the pecan butter would be a wonderful accompaniment and I sure was on target.  A wonderful combination of flavors. 

 

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Sweet Potato Rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 - 4 cups white flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and pulp scooped out, approx. 1 cup

Instructions

  1. To bake sweet potato, scrub and poke with a fork several times.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Remove, slice in half to cool, scoop out pulp.

    In a stand mixer with a dough hook : combine water, yeast and brown sugar, let stand for 5 minutes.  Slowly add remaining ingredients (add 3 cups of white flour), once all combined, knead at medium speed for 4 minutes. (Dough will be sticky.  If the dough does not pull away from the side of the bowl, add additional white flour 1/4 cup at a time.) Turn dough into a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour or until double.  After 1 hour, punch dough down.  Divide dough into 3 portions, one at a time put each portion of dough on a well floured board.  Divide each third into 12 portions, shape into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake each tray of rolls for 15 - 17 minutes.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.

    To make pumpkin shaped rolls:  After the rolls have risen for 20 minutes, gently pat down the roll, cut 8 slits around the edge of each roll.  Insert the end of a wooden spoon in the center, place a pecan sliver in each.  Let rest 15 minutes, bake as directed above.

 

Interesting Events – Demo and Dine – Clarity, Vienna, VA

One of my favorite restaurants in Northern VA is Clarity in Vienna, Virginia.  They have received numerous accolades and continue to be in the news for their outstanding food and service.  I have been to one of Chef Jonathan Krinn’s Demo and Dine events and I cannot say enough good things about it.  When I received word that they are expanding their sessions and offerings, I just had to share with all of you.  If you are in the local area or visiting Washington, DC, these events are ones you will not want to miss.  I have been to one Demo and Dine and cannot wait to attend another one of these great food events at Clarity. 

Read all about the upcoming dates below the photos.

I am sitting in the middle of this group, enjoying an entertaining and delicious evening at Clarity.

 “Dinner and a Demo” cooking classes at Clarity’s Kitchen Counter, where you eat a four course tasting menu paired with wines and Chef Jonathan Krinn, demonstrates and explains how everything is made. Classes are a combo of cooking class / TEDTalk because not only do we cook, but we talk cooking techniques, alternate preparations, “what do I do if…” situations, and my “cooking rules to live by” – trust me, it turns into a party by the second course. Jonathan’s goal is for you to shop with confidence because you have the skill set to choose and cook whatever is freshest at the market.   
 
Gracious Requests from the Chef: 
  • #1: Because there are only 8 seats available for each class, please respond soonest to this email with your pick(s) and how many seats you are requesting – choices of 2  dates will help me secure you a spot(s) without too many back and forth emails. 
  • #2: I don’t ask for pre-payment or no-show charges, so if you get spot(s) please attend. 
2017 Fall Schedule – Seats are $130 each, which includes everything – food, wine, tax, and gratuity 
  • October 16th – Cooking Fish, accompanied by Vegetables and Sauce-making Techniques
  • October 24th – Cooking Meat, accompanied by Vegetables and Sauce-making Techniques
  • November 6th – Cooking Vegetables accompanied by Sauce-making Techniques Using Vegetables 
  • November 7th –  Cooking Vegetables accompanied by Sauce-making Techniques Using Vegetables
  • November 13th – Soup Making – Vegetable, Fish and Meat – broth and stews
  • November 14th – Soup Making – Vegetable, Fish and Meat – broths and stews
  • November 20th – Cooking Meat accompanied by Vegetables and Sauce-making Techniques 
Make sure you go with an appetite!!!

 

 

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-whah”) is a seed that has more protein than any other grain or seed.  It has a nutty flavor that is perfect to add to many types of salads.  This salad is easy to prepare and delicious tossed with a quick lemon vinaigrette.  It would also be a great salad to stir in chicken, steak, salmon, or shrimp. For those of you looking for a lunch-to-go or picnic salad, Quinoa Salad is perfect.   

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Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, minced

Instructions

  1. Combine quinoa, salt and 1 1/4 up water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, let stand for five minutes.  Fluff with a fork, let cool.

    Combine lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil , whisk to combine, season with salt and pepper.  When quinoa has cooled, combine with 1/4 cup of dressing, mix well, refrigerate.  At this point you can refrigerate overnight.  When ready to serve, combine with remaining ingredients, drizzle remaining dressing over.

Parchment Packet Fish

If you are looking for a quick and easy fish recipe, Parchment Packet Fish is for you.  I came home the other day and it had been one of those busy days where you hardly have time to catch your breath.  The last thing I wanted to do was make dinner.  I had two pieces of cod in the refrigerator and some pico de gallo, enough to inspire me to put together dinner in under 20 minutes.  If you haven’t baked fish in parchment, you are missing out on one of the quickest and most delicious ways to prepare fish.  Preheat your oven – pull out some parchment – dinner will be done in 15 minutes!  Who needs take out or food delivery services?

 

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Parchment Packet Fish

Ingredients

  • cod or desired fish fillets
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo, per fillet
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lime
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon of water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. You will need one 10 x 15 piece of parchment for each fillet.  Place fillet slightly off center on parchment.  Salt and pepper fish, drizzle lightly with olive oil, squeeze a drizzle of lime juice over fish, top with 1/4 cup pico de gallo, top with approximately one tablespoon of cilantro leaves, if desired.  Brush edge of parchment with egg mixture, fold parchment over, crimp or roll edges to seal, place on sheet pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove and serve one parchment packet per serving.  Serve with sliced avocado, tortilla chips, black beans or rice along side.

Urbanna Oyster Festival – November 3-4, 2017

If you are a oyster lover, the Urbanna Oyster Festival is coming up and looks like the place to be!

The Town of Urbanna is a true Oyster town and the best place to taste, buy and try all things oyster related. Start your day at the Scottish Factor Store and check out the history of the oyster industry in Urbanna. After your get a peek at how we’ve done it for decades, take a right out of the driveway to the museum and head down “Community Row” to the Waterfront exhibits where you can see the industry in practice today. Once you get a little hands-on experience head back up to the vendors and try all of the different ways to eat these bivalve delicacies! Don’t forget to try the wine and oyster pairings! Also, Virginia Craft Beer Tasting in the park. Virginia is for Oyster Lovers after all!

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Apple Harvest Bread

I have been back pouring through my mom’s stash of recipes and found this gem.   We always had a small garden growing up and I remember the abundance of zucchini during late summer.  My mom would freeze grated zucchini in the portions she needed for various recipes, perfect to have on hand when she was ready to bake anything with zucchini, including Zucchini Apple Harvest Bread.  The addition of a shredded apple makes this recipe unique, very moist and a wonderful bread to serve with a cup of coffee or tea.

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Zucchini Apple Harvest Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 apple, shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans.   Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl.  Add sugar, zucchini, apple, vanilla and oil.  Mix well.   Combine dry ingredients,  add to zucchini mixture.  Fold in walnuts.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.  Cool 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.

Eggplant Caponata

I always make notes on all of my recipes, this one had a note “Excellent – December 2003”   Hard to believe it has been that many years that I have been making this recipe.  It is just as delicious now as it was fourteen years ago.  I always find it interesting when the recipes I make are the memories I note years later.

 

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Eggplant Caponata

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 16 oz can diced Italian tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut eggplant into 1" cubes.  Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of salt and let stand in colander for approximately two hours.  Squeeze gently after the two hours to remove excess moisture. Saute eggplant in olive oil until brown on all sides.  Remove from pan with a slotted spoon.  Brown chopped onions until soft, add tomatoes, celery and olives, cook slowly until the celery is tender.  Return eggplant to the pan add capers.  Heat vinegar, stir in sugar until it is dissolved.  Pour mixture over eggplant mixture, add garlic, basil, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot or cold.

Three Ingredient Biscuits

My husband thinks I should have titled this recipe The Best Biscuits Ever, however, I opted to name them Three Ingredient Biscuits.  I wanted the title to explain just how easy these biscuits are.  I shake my head when I see cans of biscuits in the refrigerated section of the market that are full of ingredients that I cannot even pronounce. This recipe is so quick and easy you must try them.  Maybe my husband was right – perhaps I should have named them The Best Biscuits Ever!

 

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Three Ingredient Biscuits

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Once combined, turn dough our onto a flour dusted board.  Knead dough 5 - 6 times until smooth.  Roll dough 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with a 2 1/2 - 3 inch round biscuit cutter (or you can use the top of a drinking glass) dusted with flour.  Place biscuits on parchment lined cookie sheet approximately one inch apart.  Bake 10 - 14 minutes, until golden brown. 

Tomato and Red Wine Skillet Chicken

I am definitely a spur of the moment cook. Last week was a very busy week and I was planning on making baked chicken in a herb sauce.  Thinking I had chicken broth at home I started to gather my ingredients for dinner, but to my surprise I did not have the chicken broth that I thought I had on hand.  So, time to conjure up a new recipe.  I think this one is a real winner.  Just like our grandmothers, you make dinner with what you have available.  One look around my kitchen and I came up with an onion, garlic, red wine, chicken breasts, crushed tomatoes and a few other additions and an hour later, one of the best chicken recipes I think I have made!

5 from 1 vote
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Tomato and Red Wine Skillet Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2-4 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh basil, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Salt and pepper chicken.  In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat add olive oil and butter.  When hot, place chicken in skillet skin side down, cook until skin is golden brown.  Remove chicken from skillet.  Add remaining ingredients and cook 1 - 2 minutes, add salt and pepper, to taste. Nestle the chicken into the sauce.  Place skillet in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.  Remove from oven, top with fresh basil and serve from the skillet.

    Serve with a side of pasta, if desired.