Saturday, March 28, 2015

Beef and Beer Stew

Still working on getting rid of a leftover case of beer. I know, most of you are probably thinking, "Why not just drink it?" Problem is, I never developed a taste for beer, but I'm finding it to be a great ingredient for a number of recipes. This is my latest creation, adapted from an Irish Stew recipe.




2 pounds stew meat, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 pinch salt and pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon thyme OR a sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup peas
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 12 oz can of beer
1 sprig fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Toss beef cubes into a large bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil until well coated. Set aside. Mix flour, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper (if desired) in a small bowl and stir until well blended. Heat remaining oil in a stew pot or Dutch oven. Coat beef cubes in flour mixture and drop into the hot oil, browning on all sides. Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions turn clear. Add tomato sauce, stirring well. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Increase heat and pour 1/2 of the beer into the pan, scraping any residue from the bottom as it begins to boil. Pour in the remaining beer, add peas, carrots, potato and thyme. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer on low for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Garnish with parsley before serving.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Beer and Soy Sauce Chicken

I love wine with any meal, but I admit I'm not much of a beer drinker. I only buy it for guests, which sometimes means having a stray can leftover after everyone leaves. Fortunately, I can put it to good use. This recipe is easy and it gives chicken breasts some real zing.




1 cup soy sauce
1 12 oz can of beer
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon minced garlic OR 1 glove fresh garlic, pressed or chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
vegetable spray (optional)

Mix soy sauce, beer, water and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Season with pepper and stir. Wash chicken thoroughly and place in sauce mixture. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, occasionally turning the chicken while marinating.

Grill on an outdoor grill, or in a in a hot skillet coated with vegetable spray, until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Serve with wild rice.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Baked Ziti Parmesan

This recipe is quick, easy and tasty. The perfect dish for a cold winter's day.  Enjoy.



1 lb. lean ground beef
2 jars spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 cups Parmesan cheese
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Boil pasta in salted water according to the package directions. Drain. While pasta is cooking brown meat in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crumbled. Drain. Place meat back in skillet and add spaghetti sauce, stirring well.

Place half of cooked pasta in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with half of the pasta sauce. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the remaining cheeses on top. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top cheese layer is browned and sauce is bubbling. Serve with hot garlic bread.

Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Give a Chocolate Recipe a Little Extra Zing

Those of you who LOVE chocolate like I do know there is no such thing as chocolate that tastes too good. There simply isn't. Granted, some chocolate may taste better than others. I personally prefer the flavor Cadbury chocolate over Hershey chocolate,  but that's just me. As long as it's real chocolate, it's going to taste great. And as someone who loves to bake, I want to do whatever I can to give my chocolate recipes a little extra zing. One of my tricks is to use coffee instead of water. Whether it's a chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, or brownies, whenever the recipe calls for water, I use coffee, the stronger the better. The coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, giving it an extra boost.

Did I mention there's no such thing as chocolate that tastes too good?

Happy baking.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sausage and Pasta Soup

It's amazing what you can come across while cleaning out old files. I thought I'd posted this recipe some time ago, but somehow it got overlooked. Well, as they say, better late than never, and maybe it's a happy accident after all, since it's a nice warm soup for a cold winter's day.




1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or mild, casings removed
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 t0 3 tbsp chopped garlic (if desired)
1 jar tomato based meatless pasta sauce
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz size)
1 package frozen carrots OR
1 or two fresh carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
4 cups water or chicken broth
2 tbsp basil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked pasta, such as rotelli

Brown sausage, chopped onion and garlic in a skillet until the sausage is thoroughly cooed. Drain and place in a crockpot. Add the pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, vegetables, water, (or chicken broth), and seasonings. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, checking frequently, and add water (or chicken broth), if needed. Stir in the pasta, turn crockpot to high, and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to desired firmness. Serve with garlic bread.
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