Dec 10, 2012

Tomato Braised Steak with Fennel Spiced Lentils

Every have one of those days where you want to try something new, but not at the same time? This was my solution to that. I love lentils, and this recipe I've mucked about with for a while, and I adore it. The tomato braised steak is a twist on something I've done before as well. So new, but not new. :D I'm pretty happy with the outcome here.

For the lentils...
1 1/2 cups green or black lentils
1/2 red onion, peeled, root end left on
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp fennel seeds (or 1/2 bulb fennel)
1 tsp dried thyme

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Cover with water, about two inches above the level of your ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes until your lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and add salt. ADD SALT. Your water should be fairly salty, then let the lentils rest in the salty hot water for about ten minutes. Don't salt before they are cooked. They will turn hard and be really gross.
Lentils with Fennel
Dry lentils with aromatics.
Lentils with Fennel
Covered with water.
Lentils with Fennel
After cooking.

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste (one small can)
1 small can tomatoes, I think mine were crushed
Steak of some sort - I used strip steaks
1 c chicken or beef broth
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced

Brown your meat. Remove from pan, don't worry about cooking it through, right now you just want the sear. In the same pan saute your garlic and onion for about a minute. Add the rest of your vegetables. Saute until slightly softened. Pull to the edges and add in your tomato paste, warm through. Add your tomatoes, and stock. Then nestle back in your meat. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about twenty minutes (depending on what type of meat you've used. Some needs longer, some shorter.) When your meat is done, add in the mushrooms and simmer for just a minute or so. Enjoy!
Tomato Braised Steak
Brown your meat.
Tomato Braised Steak
After your meat has been browned remove and add your veg to the pan.
Tomato Braised Steak
Add the tomato paste.
Tomato Braised Steak
Add your liquid.
Tomato Braised Steak
Add in mushrooms.
Tomato Braised Steak

Dec 3, 2012

Caribbean Stew

Experiment recipe tonight! Sweet, spicy, and filling. It's definitely a different flavor profile for me, and I adore it. Don't kill me for making bisquick dumplings. I know, I know, how could I take a shortcut like that. Well.... I was kind of in a rush to get it done so we could eat. :)

2 large carrots, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 large russet potato, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4-1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 lb chicken - thighs, whole fryer chicken cut up, even chicken breast works.

Bisquick dumplings
2 c bisquick
2/3 c milk
seasonings if desired

Brown your chicken. Remove from pot. Dump in your carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, and bell pepper. Saute until slightly softened. Add in your spices, stir around to warm them up. Add your tomato and potato. Add EVERYTHING except for the dumplings. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer for about half an hour. Salt your stew to taste at this point. Then add on your dumplings, cover the pot and let them cook for about ten minutes.

Caribbean Stew
Browned chicken.
Caribbean Stew
Caribbean Stew
Caribbean Stew
Caribbean Stew
Liquids in.
Caribbean Stew
Caribbean Stew