Beef Sirloin and Vegetable Stir Fry

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If you buy a bag of carrots and end up with several, hidden in the middle of the bag, unattractive throwaways, it’s your own fault.  It’s like packaged rabbit; the head is sure to be there, cleverly hidden under the edible pieces.

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I guess it’s my day for unsatisfactory vegetables; the Napa cabbage is ugly too; yellowish. But it’s okay, a colorful stir fry sorts it out.

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I microplaned my ginger today because I remembered that I owned a microplane. Satisfying.

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I was pleased with the flavor of the vegetables before I added the beef.  Vegetarians, this one’s for you.  For regular people too 🙂  When making a multi-course Asian dinner, this would be perfect for the vegetable course.

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And if rice is not your “préféré” you can just add the beef and eat it like that.  I did.

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Beef Sirloin and Vegetable Stir Fry

1 lb sirloin steak, thinly sliced

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

3 tbsp peanut oil

1 inch fresh ginger, microplaned

3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

5-6 scallions, diagonally sliced

3-4 whippy thin carrots, thinly sliced

1 large orange bell pepper, chaotically sliced

1 1/2 cups snow peas

1/4 napa cabbage, sliced

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp peanut oil

Toss the steak with the cornstarch and set aside.  Dissolve the sugar in the soy sauce, then mix into the steak.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Heat the peanut oil in the wok and add the ginger, garlic and scallions.  Stir fry briefly until aromatic.  Add the carrots and bell pepper and continue to stir fry for about 5 minutes until crisp tender.  Add the snow peas, continuing to stir fry for about 3 minutes.  Finally add the cabbage, stir frying until wilted.  Remove from the flame, stir in the oyster sauce and set aside.

In another skillet, heat 2 tbsp peanut oil to smoking hot, add the marinated beef mixture, quickly stir fry for a few minutes, then add to the vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Asian, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Poulet Curcuma

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If you’ve ever wondered what the name for turmeric is in French, well it’s curcuma.  I wondered in France when I needed some for a recipe, bought a spice bottle that looked like turmeric, looking it up on the internet when I got home.  Whew!  I was right 🙂

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I had some enormous chicken thighs in the freezer which I find somewhat better than the enormous, bizarre, fantasy chicken breasts that are everywhere here in the States.

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I love putting together an impromptu meal when I have interesting, fresh colors.

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And everything looks good in a tajine 😉

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Nostalgic for fresh coco beans, I opened two cans of Bush’s cannellini beans, added sauteed onion, tomato, mustard and a little sugar.

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Back in the day whenever I would read about some Brit eating “beans on toast”, it was difficult to wipe the sneer off of my face.  I guess it depends on the beans 😉

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Good and simple.

Turmeric Chicken

6 chicken thighs, skin on

Turmeric

Piment d’espelette

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, cut into eight wedges

1 large leek, sliced

1 large red bell pepper, coarsely cubed

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp red peppercorns

2 bay leaves

Season the chicken with turmeric, piment d’espelette, salt and pepper, heat the oil and butter in a tajine, add the chicken and brown on both sides.  Remove and set aside.

Remove all but 2 tbsp of the fat from the tajine,  add the onion, leek, bell pepper and garlic, then saute until the vegetables are crisp tender.  Stir in the vinegar, peppercorns and bay leaves, sauteing for about a minute.  Gently stir in the chicken thighs to coat with the vinegar mixture, then place the chicken, skin side up, on top of the vegetables.

Place the uncovered tajine in a 400 F oven for 30-35 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Omuraisu

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Omuraisu is a Japanese omelette or, deconstructed, fried rice wrapped in an egg omelette. Ketchup is traditionally added to the filling and used as decoration for the top.  However our family, not being anywhere near Japanese, thinks that ketchup is only for french fries. My husband did grow up pouring ketchup over his mother’s meat loaf but I can understand the necessity 😀

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Although I made omuraisu for our son’s bento box, this is an easy, delicious, filling meal that can be made at anytime with leftovers from the refrigerator.  I used leftover rice, sesame chicken and sauteed peppers.  This is not the same thing as putting rice in burritos, omuraisu is supposed to have rice in it.  My recipe makes enough for several omelettes or can be eaten alone.

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I filled the top container of the bento with leftover noodles and curry, pickled zucchini and a tomato and cheese salad.

Omuraisu

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1 cup cooked meat

1 cup cooked vegetables

1 1/2 cup cooked rice

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp water

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 eggs, well beaten

Heat the oils together in a non-stick frying pan, then add the meat and warm for a minute or two.  Stir in the vegetables, rice and continue to warm for another minute.  Stir in the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, water and mix well.  Take off the flame and set aside.

Heat the 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a medium sized, non-stick skillet then add the eggs spreading them over the pan until you have a flat, partially cooked omelette.  Add some of the filling to the center of the omelette, fold the sides over the filling and flip the whole thing over with a spatula.  Allow the omelette to set over the flame for about 2 minutes. Decorate with a squirt of chili garlic sauce, serve or load into a bento box.

 

 

Posted in Asian, bento, Cooking, Food and Wine, Japanese, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Pork Chop and Turnip Curry

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From time to time when we are in the supermarket, my husband calls my attention to Glutton Man, thick pork chops.  Apparently, some time in his life he had one of these 1 lb babies, stuffed with bread crumbs, served to him.  It must have been unforgettable, in a good way, because after almost 40 years of “falling on deaf ears” he has not given up suggesting that I make some of these monstrous, mounds of overkill.  That’s why I found 2 of them in the freezer.  There could be more!

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They really do weigh a pound a piece!  How much must they weigh after the bread crumbs are added!?  That’s a mystery I’ll never unravel 😀

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There’s a lot you can do with 2 lbs of pork that doesn’t involve bread crumb stuffing.  I decided to make an easy curry with Madras powder and some advanced, middle-aged turnips from the refrigerator vegetable crisper.

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The curry was a perfect addition to my son’s bento box of black rice noodles with peppers and onions, and sesame chicken.

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Pork Chop and Turnip Curry

(2) l lb thick pork chops, boned and cut into cubes

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

6 small turnips, cut into cubes

1/2 onion, sliced

1 1/2 tbsp Madras curry

1 bay leaf

14 ounce can Vietnamese chicken broth

Season the pork cubes with salt and pepper, then lightly brown in the olive oil, remove and set aside.  Add the turnips to the pan and lightly brown.   Add the onion slices to the pan and  saute until the onion is soft.  Add the curry, then stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the pork, bay leaf and broth, bring to a boil, then lower to a lively simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with rice.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Asian, bento, Cooking, Food and Wine, Indian, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Grilled Honey Mustard Corned Beef with Colcannon

 

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Scranton, PA “had the Irish in” yesterday, featuring the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, corned beef, cabbage and sanctioned binge drinking.  Although Scranton is a mere 35 minutes from Honesdale, we chose not to attend the festivities, graciously ceding the road to the numerous drunken accidents and their victims whose detritus was still on display this morning.  The Sunday mass fairly echoed in the poorly attended church service this morning 🙂

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Sunday lunch was a variation of the traditional boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage; grilled honey mustard corned beef, colcannon and herb roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

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I enhanced the colcannon with crisp bacon ends because I could and they were in the refrigerator.

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The cauliflower and broccoli were mixed with olive oil, fresh oregano, salt and pepper.

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Kenny joined us for lunch and a little archery in the yard with his cousins.

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Last night I ground the spices that came in the corned beef package, mixed them with a little olive oil, brushed the mixture on the meat, wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight.

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A little open face sandwich with roasted onion.

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Enjoy!

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Grilled Honey Mustard Corned Beef

4 lb corned beef brisket with spice packet

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp mustard

Remove the brisket and spice packet from wrapping.  Rinse off the meat and pat dry. Grind the spices, mix with the olive oil, then brush on all sides of the meat.  Wrap the spiced brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare a water tight aluminum foil tent, place the brisket inside, then pour in the water and seal.  Preheat the grill to at least 500 F, turn off half the burners and place the aluminum foil wrapped brisket on the cold side.  Grill at 400 F for 2 hours, top down.

Mix the butter, honey and mustard together in a bowl.  Remove the brisket from the aluminum foil, place directly on the cold side of the grill, brush with the honey mustard mixture and continue to grill at 400 F for another hour, brushing every 15 minutes with the honey mustard mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Irish, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

German Style Cabbage with Bacon Ends

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Everyone in my family likes vegetables and eat them as a matter of course.  Praise be to Jesus 😀   Naturally, they have their individual favorites and preparation styles.  All of them love my German style cabbage and ask for it from time to time.  Today I decided to get them off their knees and to the table with cabbage and German butcher, house smoked pork chops.

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During the Ethiopian-Eritrean War, my son and I were evacuated to Ireland for 6 months; chosen because there was a good private French school in Dublin and my husband still has family there.  The dairy products (butter, cheese, cream, ice cream) were some of the best we’ve every had and we always highly ranked Ireland along side France for superior diary products.  But today I reluctantly admitted, after using Kerry Gold Butter last year and since I’ve been back, that the import we find here is not a patch on French butter!  Maybe not even the French President butter brand.  Gasp!  How is that possible?

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For lunch today, I spread some Kerry Gold on a very nice piece of onion rye bread to accompany my cabbage, and while not offensive, the Irish butter just didn’t have that grass fed, butter fat, richness that I recall from our stay.  Perhaps we weren’t eating the Kerry Gold brand in Dublin (I don’t remember) or maybe they are not exporting their  “Grade A” to the States.  For whatever reason, I’m disappointed 😦   I’ll probably need to consider getting rid of my Irish husband and terrier now.  Maybe not the dog 😀

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I don’t know why everyone calls this cabbage red.  It looks purple to me until it’s cooked. But I could be color blind.

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Needless to say I had no lardons, but I did have some bacon ends that I bought last year in good shape in the freezer.  Bacon ends are not lardons, although they did have some lardons-ish pieces included in the bag.

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The bacon ends are fattier and need to be rendered to get rid of some of the excess fat.

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I used my Paula I-Call-A-Spade-A-Spade Deen deep skillet.  It has become one of my favorites 🙂

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Go ahead.  Eat this with buttered bread and don’t feel guilty.  Have cake afterward 😀

German Style Cabbage with Bacon Ends

1 cup bacon ends, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 medium small head of purple cabbage, shredded

3-4 sprigs fresh oregano

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Using a wok or a large, deep skillet, brown and render the fat from the bacon ends. Remove all the rendered fat except for 1 tbsp, add the tbsp of olive oil and the onion.  Cook the onion until soft.  Add the shredded cabbage and fresh oregano, then stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

Mix together the vinegar, sugar, water, mustard, salt and pepper, then stir into the skillet, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Roasted Smoked Pork Chops

2 tbsp butter

6 smoked, thick and fully cooked pork chops

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Melt the butter in a roasting pan, then add the pork chops. Roast for 15 minutes on each side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, German, Main dishes, Recipes, side dish | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A Visit to the German Butcher

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Whenever I start a sentence “A Visit”, I always think of a short story I read back in the day, “A Visit from the Footbinder”, by Emily Prager.  I really loved that story but that has nothing to do with today’s post.  I just wanted everyone to know that I’m literate 😀

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Today I wanted to make spareribs and knew that I would never be satisfied with the inferior cut and quality of pork at the supermarkets.  The German butcher, attached to the Alpine Wurst and Meat House Restaurant in Honesdale, I knew would have what I wanted.  Yes he did 😉

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I was out of my homemade rubs (Bavarian and Essence) but my neighbor Caroline often gifts our family with her homemade flavored salts.  I went with her Spanish Rub, thinking that it wouldn’t harm my contemplated teriyaki glaze.  It didn’t.

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After purchasing the ribs and a few essential house smoked pork chops, we were stopped by the butcher at the door.  He explained that he had something he wanted us to taste. Disgruntled by the quantity of leftover cooked potatoes the restaurant was disposing of each night, he correctly thought that the potatoes could be recycled and created a mashed potato recipe for the restaurant or take out from the deli shop.  He gave us both a heaped spoon full of hot mashed potatoes.  Fabulous, fabulous.  Of course we got a pound to go and the recipe.

German Butcher Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs cooked potatoes, mashed

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

Ranch dressing to taste (you can start with 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled

Salt and pepper

Warm the potatoes, cheddar cheese, parsley and ranch dressing over a medium low flame, stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, German, Recipes, side dish | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments