Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Quick Beef Daube in the Pressure Cooker

Photo:  keep forgetting to take a picture...will add some day...

Easy! After trying many beef stew/daube recipes to use in my pressure cooker, I combined some of my favorite ideas from them to for this fool-proof dish. It is quick to make, turns out great every time,  and makes a lot of richly flavored gravy for mashed potatoes. The gravy is not very thick, and even thinner if you do not dredge all of the beef in flour, but that is okay.

4 pounds chuck roast or steak, boned & cut into 2-inch  pieces
flour
salt and pepper
coconut oil and peanut or olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
2 onions, diced
1 cup beef stock (I use 1 t Glace de Viande Gold mixed with 1 cup water; warmed until the glace melts)
1/4 cup dry red wine (I have used chianti and cheap petite sirah)
1 T red wine vinegar
3 T tomato paste

Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. 


1.  Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dredge half to all of the pieces lightly in flour (I particularly like to dredge only half the beef).
2.  Heat an  8-qt pressure cooker over medium-high heat until hot.
3.  Add oil. When oil is hot, saute the beef in batches until it is crusty brown all over; do not crowd pot; remove sauteed beef to a rimmed pan. I like to saute the non-floured beef first.
4. Add the onions to the pot and saute until translucent and just starting to brown around edges.
5. Return beef to the pot. Add the stock, wine, vinegar, and tomato paste. Stir all together.
6. Cover the cooker and bring to pressure over high heat.
7.  When pressure is attained, lower the heat as low as possible to maintain pressure and cook for 22 minutes. Cook a little longer if you have larger than 2-inch pieces of beef.
8. After 22 minutes, remove cooker from heat and let the pressure come down naturally; this will take about 15 to 20 minutes.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pizza with Sprouted Spelt Flour in the Crust

This is a focaccia-type pizza made with a crust that substitutes spelt flour for half of the white flour. It works very well and we even prefer this version to the all-white flour version. I like to use spelt flour instead of white flour whenever possible, however I don't much like my bread recipes when there is more than about a one-to-three spelt to white flour ratio (admittedly, it is the texture that suffers, not the flavor). For quiche, tart, and pizza crusts, however, half spelt is great. Here is our master recipe...it is very easy!

Pizza with Sprouted Spelt Flour Crust

Crust:
1 1/8 cups bread flour
1 1/8 cups sprouted spelt flour
1 t vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup cornmeal (any grind)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm tap water (110º) ...start with a little less...can be cold if using bread machine
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (when doubling the recipe, use less yeast, about 3 t instead of 5 t)
2 Tablespoons olive oil (plus 1 T+ for oiling the pan)

Basic Topping:

1 c (7 to 8 oz) pizza sauce
1 cup+ grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup+ grated Monterey jack OR grated mozzarella
some grated Parmesan cheese (opt)

1A. BREAD MACHINE:  process crust ingredients on the dough setting, letting the dough rise in the machine ... this takes 1 hour and 50 minutes in my Zojirushi. 
1B.  WITHOUT MACHINE:  In a 2-qt. (or bigger) mixing bowl sir the flour & salt well to combine; make a well in the center.  Measure the water and pour it into a small bowl, whisk in the yeast, then 2 C oil.  Pour the liquid into the well and stir with a rubber spatula (or your hand) in one direction until it forms a soft, very sticky dough.  Stir vigorously for 1 minute, in one direction, until it looks smoother.  Cover the bowl tightly with a lid or plastic wrap & allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in bulk, up to 1 hour  OR  put  into the refrigerator & let it rise all day. 
2.  Line bottom of a rimmed half-sheet pan (11" x 17" x 1") with parchment and use the remaining oil to grease the parchment and the sides of the pan (if you don't use parchment, you'll have to use a lot more oil). 
3.  Scrape the dough from the bowl to the pan, being careful not to stir or fold it. Oil your hands and press and pat the dough into the pan all the way to the sides.  If it resists, let it rest for 5 minutes (may take longer if dough is cold) then continue.  The top should be lightly coated with oil.  Cover loosely with an oiled piece of parchment or put in a cupboard and let it puff up slightly, about 30 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile, set your racks at the highest and lowest levels in the oven and preheat to 450º.  Set stone/tiles on rack. Also, lay some paper towels on the counter (optional) and set a cooling rack over it (one large enough to fit the pizza).
5.  When the dough has puffed, prick all over with a fork and bake on bottom rack (or on the stone/tiles) for 13 to 15 minutes (until it starts to brown).  After 10 minutes, lift an end of the pizza with a metal spatula to check if bottom is burning.  If coloring too quickly, slide another pan under first one (if you have a heavy pan, this will not happen).  If the bottom is fine check after another 5 minutes.  
6. Remove from the oven and slide the pizza out of the pan and onto the cooling rack, discarding the parchment liner. If you do not have a stone or tiles, leave the pizza in the pan and just slide the parchement paper out of from under the pizza.
7. Top with pizza sauce, cheeses, etc.
8. Bake about 10 to 14 minutes more (if using stones/tiles, use a pizza board/peel, slide pizza onto the stone/tiles).
9. As soon as the pizza is done, slide  pizza out of the oven/out of the pan and onto the cooling rack to prevent soggy crust.

Notes:
•If you use more than a total of  2 ½ C of cheese, the pizza will be mushy and not good. 
•Leftover grilled vegetables, esp. zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant,  make great toppings.  So does spinach sauteed/steamed with garlic and olive oil. Pepperoni, onions, black olives, and pepperoncini are always good in any combination.  Also, try some pesto mixed into jarred pizza sauce.
•If you use vegetable oil to oil the pan, the pizza will taste stale - use olive oil!
•When the dough rises in the refrigerator all day, the crust is a little bit harder/denser/crunchier.
•Use the stone/tiles if possible.  This will make the best (crisper) crust.
•It is worthwhile to double the recipe; just start the baking of the second pizza after the first one is finished; the extra rising time on the second pizza doesn't matter. Leftover pizza is great...cold or reheated in a  toaster oven or panini press :).
•When doubling the recipe, start with 1 3/4 c water.
•We like Palmieri Pizza Sauce...it is pretty good and has no sugar added. If you make your own sauce, just make sure it is thick.
•If you want to make this without the spelt flour, just use all bread flour OR a combination of bread flour and white whole wheat flour. Regular unbleached flour is fine, too.
• I use Shiloh Farms Essential Eating Organic Spelt Sprouted Flour.

Our Favorite Pizza Toppings (for all of these except the Pesto and Shrimp one, brush the top of the pizza dough lightly with olive oil before adding toppings):

•Spinach and Mushroom: layer on pizza in this order: 1/2 c basil pesto, fresh plum tomatoes (seeded & sliced), fresh baby spinach leaves, sweet onions, sliced, shiitake mushroom caps, sliced 8 ozs fresh mozzarella (shredded).
•Hawaiian: 1 1/2 c (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 1/2 c (6 oz) grated Gruyere cheese, 1 lb Canadian bacon OR baked ham ( sliced & cut into 1" pieces), 3 c fresh pineappple (chopped OR 24 oz chunk pineapple, well drained), 6 scallions (chopped - optional), some salt, some chopped pepperoncini (optional)...don't overlap the ham and pineapple. Frankie's uses pepperoncini :).
•Mushroom and Truffle Oil: Cheeses = 3/4 lb shredded mozzarella and/or crucolo; Mushrooms = 4 to 8 oz thinly sliced shittake caps and 8 to 12 oz sliced mushroom sauteed in butter and olive oil (medium heat until liquid is gone, then medium-high until lightly browned) and then stir in some salt and 2 t white truffle oil (Gordon Ramsey would not like it but it is GOOD! and very good cold).
•Scallop and Bacon: shredded mozzarella/monterey jack/crucolo, cooked bacon pieces, and scallops sauteed in olive oil and lightly salted.
•Spinach and Feta: 1 lb cooked spinach (sautéed/steamed with garlic and olive oil),1 c ricotta cheese, 2 to 4 cloves minced garlic, 4 ozs fresh shredded mozzarella, 8 ozs feta cheese (crumbled).
•Pesto and Shrimp: spread some basil pest sauce over the pizza and top with shredded mozzarella/monterey jack/crucolo and shrimp sauteed in olive oil and garlic and then salted.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beef with Carrots - John Thorne



I finally have a photo of this...one of our favorite meals! Great as is, however, I like it even better without the carrots (tastes just a little bit richer) :). 

Recipe is here: http://cookingluciacara.blogspot.com/2010/12/beef-with-carrots.html

Friday, December 9, 2011

FFWD: Chard-Stuffed Pork Loin ~ Spiced Squash, Fennel, and Pear Soup ~ Matafan

 We have missed a lot of FFWD and are now trying to catch up. This week we made three recipes for the same meal. We liked them all! The Matafan (Fluffy Mashed Potato Pancakes) recipe was one of the most involved I've made from AMFT. For such a homey recipe, it sure took a lot of effort. The Spiced Squash, Fennel, and Pear Soup had a lot of ingredients which all melded together deliciously...I think you could leave out the fennel and pear and get pretty much the same flavor, however, it was fun to use this odd combination and it is very healthy made to the letter. I liked but did not love the Chard-Stuffed Pork Loin. My husband and son felt differently - they were crazy about it! It looked great and was very easy to make.




Friday, October 7, 2011

Olive-Olive Chicken - FFWD


I made this with a whole chicken since the only Cornish Hens I could find were already seasoned - and the package didn't indicate what seasonings! The recipe worked just fine with a chicken and it was good, but we didn't like the flavor combination of chicken with the Black Olive Tapenade. I've never liked black olives in cooked pasta sauces and I found with this dish that I don't like them with chicken, either. I think I'd personally prefer this recipe much more if it was made with a green olive tapenade.

One of my very favorite recipes is Chicken With Green Olives (Every Night Italian by Giuliano Hazan) and the ingredients are similar to Olive-Olive Cornish Hens. I am definitely going to try this recipe again since it was so easy, but I'll substitute green olive tapenade the next time.

The Black Olive Tapenade I used was from AMFT and it was terrific by itself - my usual tapenade recipe is the same as this one but without the herbs. I prefer Dorie's version now so I'm glad I made it!

I also made Lemon Spinach from AMFT...super-easy! I made it even easier by mixing all the ingredients in an 8-quart pot and just cooking it all over medium-low heat - no steamer. This is the second time I've made this and it is really delicious. Also, the potatoes I made were sauteed in duck fat and garlic so, of course, they were really good!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cinnamon-Crunch Chicken - FFWD


Another super easy and great FFWD recipe! No discernible cinnamon and no crunch but lots of flavor. This is basically  sauteed chicken in a sauce made of creme fraiche (I used half creme fraiche and half cream - more budget friendly when doubling the recipe!) and chopped spice cookies. It was reminiscent of a strogonoff or Swedish Meatball sauce. It tasted nicely complex and mysterious even though it was so easy. We served it with a version of the rice recipe from last week: Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach...I added sauteed bell peppers. Very good!

I am making the chicken again tonight. I love how easy it is. Also this week, we made the Dressy Pasta "Risotto" from Around My French Table with the addition of some chopped cooked broccoli. Again...easy & to die for!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach - FFWD

 I missed last week's FFWD because we had no power, thanks to Hurricane Irene. This week's recipe made up for it - it was sooo good! And so easy, too. We loved it so much that I am making it again tonight. I have a lot of smallish bell peppers from our garden so instead of stuffing the rice into peppers, this time I am going to sauté the peppers along with the onions and garlic and add all that to the rice and cheese. Cannot wait!