17th February 2008

Roasted Poblano Beef Stew

Tonight I made a stew featured in The Border Cookbook, though the original comes out of the Santa Fe Cooking School. This simple, hearty, green-tinged stew gets a lot of flavor from 3 cups of roasted poblano peppers. The long cooking time makes the beef extremely tender.

Chris says:

I heart roasted poblanos!

Lisa says:

This is *so* filling.

Chris says:

Yeah, the potatoes totally break down and thicken it up.

Lisa says:

…and I like the skins left on.

Chris says:

The beef is really tender too.

Lisa says:

Eight servings, huh? I can’t wait for leftovers.

Roasted Poblano Stew
1.5 lbs beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 medium onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 large baking potatoes, unpeeled, diced
1 tbsp salt
5 cups chicken broth
3 cups chopped roasted poblano peppers (about 6 large peppers)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 tbsp minced cilantro

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the meat until it browns and most of its liquid has evaporated. Add the onions and garlic and cook for an additional few minutes, until the onions turn translucent. Add the potatoes, broth, and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add the poblanos and red bell pepper and simmer for another 1-1.5 hours, until the beef is super tender.
Stir in the cilantro and serve.

8 Servings

posted in Main Dishes, The Border Cookbook | 0 Comments

16th February 2008

Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Carrot Stew

Tonight we prepared this delicious, easy to make stew and quinoa dish, adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine. I’d never actually made quinoa before, and was surprised at its appearance before cooking — it’s a lot smaller than I thought. It plumps up nicely when cooked, and has a unique texture — it’s light and fluffy, but the germ separates from the grain and adds a slight crunch to each bite. Delicious.

Chris says:

This is one of my new favorite vegetarian dinners. I really like the taste of the spices with the squash and carrots.

Abbie says:

Mmmmmm! Yeah, what is that spice?

Lisa says:

There’s a bunch of spices in there, but you’re probably tasting the cayenne…

Abbie says:

Gives it a little kick!

Chris says:

By the way, butternut squash seeds look a lot like pumpkin seeds… I wonder if anyone ever roasts them?

Thad says:

I’m sure you could… mmm, thanks for making us dinner!

Abbie says:

Yeah, really .. recipe please!

Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Carrot Stew
For the stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4″ cubes

For the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water

The stew:
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Mix in the dry spices. Add 1 cup water, the drained tomatoes, and the lemon juice, and bring to boil. Add the squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

The quinoa:
Rinse quinoa and drain. Melt butter with oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Cover; cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute. Add quinoa; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups water and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

4-6 servings

posted in Main Dishes | 5 Comments

16th February 2008

Roasted Garlic with Caperberries

We had originally planned to roast some garlic for the housewarming party last weekend, but with all the other dishes we had, we decided to skip it. We had already purchased quite a few heads of garlic, however, so having Thad and Abbie over for dinner was the perfect opportunity to go for it! Many recipes for roasted garlic involve brushing the garlic heads with olive oil, we made it by just filling a roasting pan with olive oil to coat the bottom, and placing the heads cut-side down. This allows you to serve the now roasted-garlic-infused olive oil as an additional dip. The inspiration for this method comes from this post over at Desert Candy.

Thad says:

Pretty garlicky!

Chris says:

I like that you can taste a hint of garlic and caperberries in the oil.

Abbie says:

What? Those are caperberries? They look like olives!

Chris says:

Nope, try one — they’re like ginormous capers.

Lisa says:

These rule… you don’t even need the bread. I like just sticking a fork in and eating a whole clove by itself.

Chris says:

You heart garlic!

Roasted Garlic with Caperberries
6 heads of garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 325F. Cut the top third off of the heads of garlic — if you’re cooking something else that night, you can save the top bits, otherwise toss ’em. Pour oil into a small roasting pan, then place the cloves of garlic cut-side down. Add the caperberries, salt, and pepper, and cover tightly with foil. Roast for 50 minutes or until the garlic is soft and golden brown. Remove the garlic cloves to a serving dish, and pour the oil into a bowl for dipping. Serve with warm baguette and get your dip on.

posted in Appetizers | 1 Comment

11th February 2008

Thai Vegetable Curry

Lisa was looking for a recipe to utilize the rest of our veggies from the CSA box, and came across this recipe from Food & Wine Magazine. Potatoes and broccoli are the big players here, with a supporting cast of mushrooms, tomatoes, and basil. The green curry paste we had on hand was pretty subtle, but still added a nice flavor to the dish.

Chris says:

Hot damn, I like this!

Lisa says:

What? It’s not hot at all. The flavor is really good though.

Chris says:

I didn’t mean “spicy” damn… I really like the flavors, too, and you can always make it spicier with the ol’ rooster…

Lisa says:

I like these generous portions… Hm, guess what I’m having for dinner tomorrow night while you’re at school?

Thai Vegetable Curry
1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2″ ginger, sliced thin
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
14 oz can light coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup drained canned bamboo shoots, halved
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound broccoli, thick stems removed, tops cut into small florets (1 quart)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1/3 cup thin-sliced basil leaves

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and fry, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the coconut milk and broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the soy sauce, brown sugar, salt, bamboo shoots, potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomato and heat through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice and basil.

Serve with rice.

4 Servings

posted in Main Dishes, Thai | 2 Comments

10th February 2008

Peanut Brittle: Sweet and Savory

When I came across this recipe for “Indian Spiced Peanut Brittle” on 28 Cooks, I knew it would be a fun treat to try making for our recent housewarming party. I’d never made peanut brittle before, and assumed that it would be a pretty time-consuming affair involving standing over a hot stove with a thermometer, waiting for the perfect time to pour, stir, etc. Well, with the exception of remembering to keep an eye on the bowl, it’s pretty much a no-brainer in the microwave — yes, the microwave! Not only that, it was a fantastic way to use up the light corn syrup and peanuts that we had in the pantry.

Once we saw how easy the first recipe was, we made a second batch using some leftover white chocolate. Both were delicious and a big hit at the party.

Chris says:

Oh my god, these spices in here rule. I love the savory along with the sweet.

Matt says:

Mmmmmm… I love the way those spices sneak up on you. Very good.

Lisa says:

Ooh, next time for the white chocolate I want to try lining the parchment with the chocolate and then then pouring the peanut mixture over the top instead of mixing it in.

Chris says:

That sounds cool, you’d have whole bits of chocolate in there.

Amy says:

I think you guys just figured out what to give people for Christmas presents next year!

Chris says:


Peanut Brittle
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Sweet White Chocolate Peanut Brittle:
1/2 White Chocolate candy bar, broken into pieces

For the Savory “Indian Spiced” Peanut Brittle:
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp whole white peppercorns
1/8 tsp cumin seeds

Use a mortar and pestle to crush the spices together.

1. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and peanuts in a microwave-safe dish. Heat on high for four minutes, stir well, and return to the microwave for an additional 2-4 minutes until it just starts to slightly darken, making sure it doesn’t burn.
2. Remove from the microwave, add the butter and stir well. If making the sweet peanut brittle, add the chocolate and stir well.
3. Return to the microwave for an additional 1-2 minutes.
4. Remove from the microwave and add the baking soda and vanilla, stirring well. If making the savory peanut brittle, add the crushed spices and stir well.
5. Spread on the parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool. When set, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

On microwaving: Microwave times vary based on the power of your oven, so watch that bowl. If it starts to brown darkly and smoke, your brittle may be toast, and not the edible kind!
On washing the bowl: After you pour out the contents of the bowl on the parchment paper, whatever’s left will quickly harden, and you may think you have an evening of hard scrubbing ahead of you. No worries, though, remember it’s basically just hardened sugar in that bowl, so just fill it with water, let it sit for a while, and when you return you should find that it has all dissolved.

posted in Desserts, Indian | 6 Comments