Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Beef Burgundy

Again, searching through America's Test Kitchen and came across this slow cooker favorite.

For Christmas, we got a new slow cooker and I've been trying to find recipes to use it. Who doesn't love coming home to a fragrant kitchen!? It took a little bit of time in the morning, but I chopped up and had all my ingredients ready the night before, so all I had to do was heat the pan!

Beef Burgundy
  • 8 ounces bacon , chopped
  • 4 pounds beef stew meat (preferably chuck)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion , chopped fine
  • 2 carrots , peeled and chopped fine
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups Pinot Noir
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and refrigerate. Pour half of bacon fat into small bowl; set skillet with remaining bacon fat aside.
  • 2. Dry beef thoroughly with paper towels. Season beef with salt and pepper; place half of beef in slow cooker insert. Heat skillet containing remaining bacon fat over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook remaining beef in single layer until deep brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer browned beef to slow cooker insert.
  • 3. Add reserved bacon fat to now-empty skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrots, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir until beginning to brown, about 45 seconds. Transfer mixture to slow cooker insert.
  • 4. Return now-empty skillet to high heat and add 1 1/2 cups wine, chicken broth, and soy sauce. Simmer, scraping up brown bits, until pan bottom is clean, about 1 minute. Transfer wine mixture to slow cooker insert.
  • 5. Stir bay leaves and tapioca into slow cooker insert. Set slow cooker on low, cover, and cook until meat is fork-tender, about 9 hours.
  • 6. When ready to serve, discard bay leaves and stir in reserved bacon. Bring remaining 1 cup wine to boil in large skillet over high heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir reduced wine and parsley into stew and adjust seasonings. Serve.
The Final Touch
In addition to the rich flavor of the wine, many people consider a garnish of sautéed onions and mushrooms one of the hallmarks of a great beef Burgundy. We think this little bit of last-minute kitchen work is worth the effort.

Instructions for the Garnish:
Before reducing wine in step 6, bring 2 cups frozen pearl onions, 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 cup water to boil in large skillet over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and cook until liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add 10 ounces white mushrooms, quartered, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables are browned and glazed, about 5 minutes. Stir onions and mushrooms into stew and proceed to reduce wine in now-empty skillet as directed in step 6.

#87 DZP: 3/5 Done!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Taste Buds: Pasta E Fagioli

Found this recipe on America's Test Kitchen and fell in love! This Italian pasta and bean soup sounded so comforting and when I read the ingredients I knew I had to try. It also seemed easy to do, a plus for me!

Pasta E Fagioli
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped fine
  • 1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium rib celery , chopped fine (about 2/3 cup)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 anchovy fillets , minced to paste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 piece Parmesan cheese rind , about 5 inches by 2 inches
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 8 ounces orzo or other small pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)

  • Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. *Your kitchen smells wonderful too!*

  • Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and anchovies; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  • Add tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Add cheese rind and beans; bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, 10 minutes.

  • Add chicken broth, 2 1/2 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (refer to package instructions to better estimate pasta cooking time).

  • Discard cheese rind. Off heat, stir in 3 tablespoons parsley; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into individual bowls; drizzle each serving with olive oil and sprinkle with a portion of remaining parsley. Serve immediately, passing grated Parmesan separately.

  • #87 DZP 2/5 Done!

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    #89 DZP: Eat at a restaurant that was featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives"

    #89 DZP: Eat at a restaurant that was featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives"
    Now this was as random as they come.
    Story: Our good friends Vince & Shanna were going on a trip to Arizona.
    I made cake pops for them, and for their trip.
    Thought it would be a tasty treat for the drive out there.
    Next thing I know Bebe, Petite Bebe, and I were in Chandler, Arizona... at Chino Bandinos.
    (and yes, that's Ryan in the picture)

    When Shanna came to pick up the cake pops, she mentioned why they were all going to Arizona: to go to a restaurant: Chino Bandinos. It's a delightful mix of Mexican & Chinese food. It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, that's what sparked the inspiration to go and visit Arizona. And the unlimited combinations are endless.... ok, maybe not endless, but you get the idea.

    I unfortunately did NOT take any pictures of my awesome combination, but I had a carnitas quesadilla with jade red chicken, jerk fried rice, and cuban black beans. Let me tell you: jerk fried rice and jade red chicken... that was my favorite! *drool*

    Fun times were had and it was a great FIRST family road trip!
    (Special thanks to our wonderful friends who let us come with them on their family adventure!)

    Here's apart of the DDD video I found on YouTube in case you were interested:


    #71 DZP: Complete a 100 Instagram photo challenge

    #71 DZP Goal: Complete a 100 Instagram Photo Challenge

    It didn't take me long, but I started Instagram (thanks to Julie) back in February and I haven't looked back! I think currently I'm up to 136 photos, or something like that. Lots of fun memories!
    But here's at least 100, and on to the next 100!

    #64 DZP: Eat at 3 locations of the Melting Pot

    #64 DZP Goal: Eat at 3 locations of the Melting Pot
    Okay... I changed this from 12 locations... to 6 locations...
    Now to 3...

    If you have ever experienced the Melting Pot, you know your wallet suffers a little bit, for a full coursed meal that is. It's a wonderful experience... but one that leaves you not looking forward to the check.

    It's my Mom's and my favorite restaurant and so I like to make it a tradition that her and I go for her birthday, and sometimes we use to go just for fun.

    But lately, with the way my life is going (not that it's a bad thing, ok) but I'm not able to go out to the Melting Pot like I would hope. But I have been to 3 locations:

    Brea, CA
    Irvine, CA
    & San Diego, CA (Gas Lamp)

    Now I still would love to visit all 12 California locations... but it's not in the cards right now.
    Maybe one day... but not right now...

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Ryan & the Straw

    Ryan - I see Mommy and Daddy has sippy cups this straw-thing in it.
    When we go to this thing called drive-thru, their sippy cups always has one in it.
    So I finally mastered it! Now I can have a sippy cup with a straw in it!

    #53 DZP: See a drive-in movie

    #53 DZP Goal: See a drive-in movie
    So the girls (and by girls I mean Erin, LilAlex, & Yvette) and I gathered our boys all together and after a sit-down-family-spaghetti-dinner, the girls grouped in one car, boys in the other: and off we went to the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre!

    At $7/person, it wasn't that bad. I've never been to a drive-in before, so this was exciting!
    Especially since Erin took her mustang and we put the top down!!

    We had blankets and some of the guys went to get snacks: soda, water, .... churros!
    Overall a great time!

    (a little blurry, but it was on timer, and on Erin's WINDSHEILD!)