Sunday, September 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Beef & Broccoli, yet again

I've made this several times before, it's different every time.  (Like just about everything else I make!)  The other versions can be found on the "Meat" page of this blog.

Put a pot of water on to boil for pasta.  Chop 1/4 onion and begin browning it in some olive oil.  Chop 3 cloves of garlic and roughly a tbsp of fresh ginger and add them.  Add some garlic powder, ginger powder, and about 1/2 c of veggie stock. Chop up a pound or so of steak and add it to the pot along with some more veggie stock, a bit of beer, and some soy sauce.  Cover and let cook for awhile.  When the pasta water boils, add some salt, olive oil, and a large handful of linguini, broken in half.  Steam a bunch of baby broccoli, then chop it into bite-sized pieces.  When the beef is cooked, add about 1/3 c of crunchy peanut butter.  Sitr well, let cook until it has thickened enough not to be watery when mixed with the pasta and broccoli.  Combine everything in a large bowl and toss til evenly mixed.

This dish turned out to be just the right stickiness to make it possible to eat the pasta with chopsticks.  Hooray!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rye-Pumpkin Truffles

And by Rye, I mean Rye Whiskey.  

So last Friday night I was killing time and had the bright idea to put some Smooth Ambler Old Scout Rye Whiskey in some truffles.  I hadn't made any truffles in awhile, and I had been craving them.  I figured all the alcohol would cook out and I would be left with some delicious whiskey-tasting truffles.  

I combined 1/2 cup of the whiskey with a giant spoonful of pumpkin and 3.5 oz of 60% dark chocolate.  I cooked it for awhile in a small saucepan, poured the mixture into a glass measuring cup, and stuck it in the 
fridge to cool.  I didn't get around to taking it out of the fridge until this evening.  

The ganache was super soft, but I formed it into rough balls, laid them on wax paper, and stuck them in the freezer to harden.  I got a little taste from the ganache clinging to the sides of the cup, and it was super delicious.  

While the ganache was hardening in the freezer, I melted 3.5 oz of 72% dark chocolate.  Then I dropped the ganache balls in one at a time, turned them til coated, and dropped them on a new sheet of wax paper.  I had to make the coated truffles in batches because the ganache got soft pretty quick and it would melt into the cup of coating chocolate if it wasn't hard enough.  I ended up needing to melt a second 3.5 oz of the 72% to coat all of the truffles.  (although that left me with quite a bit of leftover coating at the end)

Once the first batch of truffles was hardened, I had a taste-test.  At first, it was super delicious.  Chocolate and whiskey, yum.  But then...I was slammed with a big, overpowering alcohol-ness.  Apparently, the alcohol DID NOT cook out of the ganache.  Apparently, it was condensed instead.  Wow that was strong.  These truffles are not for children.  Unfortunately, the taste of alcohol is so potent, the truffles aren't actually as epic-ly delicious as I had hoped.  They don't taste like whiskey, they taste like alcohol.  I guess I should have cooked the ganache longer...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tomato Sauce

A friend gave me some tomatoes from her garden last week.  I was going to make tomato soup, but when I got to the point where it was time to add the heavy cream, I discovered that I didn't have any.  So I turned it into tomato sauce instead.  It came out pretty tasty.  I didn't end up eating it until several days after I made it, and I wasn't smart enough to write down what I did at the time, so I'll have to guess for you.

5-6 small tomatoes
1 1/2 carrots
1/4 small onion
4 cloves garlic
fresh basil

I made Xs with a knife in the bottom of each tomato, then dropped them in boiling water for 30 sec or so. Then I removed them and the skins peeled right off.  I chopped the onion and garlic and browned them in some olive oil in a dutch oven.  While they were browning, I grated the carrots into the pot.  I chopped the tomatoes and added them.  I let it cook for awhile, stirring occasionally.  I added some fresh basil at some point.  I let it cook down for a bit, and then I removed it from the heat and used an immersion blender to blend it into a tomato-sauce consistency.  

Last night I made some pasta with artichokes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and some leftover chicken tenders.  I tossed it with the homemade tomato sauce.  Super yummy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sweet Potato Fries

I had some chicken to make into baked tenders this evening, and I decided to have sweet potato fries with them.  However, they bake at different temperatures, so instead of trying to figure out how to sync them, I decided to fry the fries on the stove.

I poured an inch or so of vegetable oil into a dutch oven and heated it up.  Meanwhile, I chopped up 1/2 a sweet potato into thin shoestring fries. I coated the fries with just a bit of olive oil and rolled them in breadcrumbs.  Once the oil was hot, I dropped in all the fries and let them fry for roughly 10 minutes.  Because that's how much time the chicken tenders had left in the oven.  The fries seemed a bit limp when I took them out and laid them on paper towels, but they actually crisped up nicely when they dried.  And they were delicious.  Surely not quite as healthy as the baked variety, but that's ok with me for something tasty!

Dinner is complete.  With ketchup, ranch, and honey mustard.  Gotta have options!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Stout Stroganoff

I've made Beef Stroganoff with red wine before, I've never made it with beer.  My plan this evening was to make it with Guinness, but then I discovered that I was out of Guinness.  I did have a Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout though.  So I went with that.  1 cup of the beer went into the pasta pot along with 1 jar of beef gravy, one can of mushroom soup, and 2 cups of water, the rest went into a skillet with the stew beef with some garlic powder.  In a separate skillet, I cooked 1/4 of an onion, 2 carrots, and 4 stalks of celery.  When the beef was about done, I added the veggies.  When the pasta pot started boiling, I added egg noodles and cooked them for about 10 min.  When they were almost done, I added 5 mushrooms to the beef and veggies.  When the pasta was done, I added the solid contents of the skillet.  I added a tbsp of cornstarch to the remaining liquid and cooked it til thick, then added the gravy to the pot with everything else.

It turned out to be a pretty good stroganoff.  The beer made it a little bit bitter though.  Funny how I never notice the bitterness of the beer when I drink it, but it definitely came out in the food.

On a side note, blogger doesn't recognize "stroganoff" as a word, and wants me to change it to "strongman."