Guinness Beef Stew

March 16th, 2017

Guiness Beef Stew

In a twist of fate, serving beef stew in sunny Florida turned out to be just the right thing to do.  With company coming, I wanted to make my Guinness Beef Stew in honor of St. Paddy’s Day but had reservations about serving stew in 80 degree temperatures.  On cue a cold front swept through and temperatures were in the 40’s and 50’s.  We ate this warming stew on the patio wearing sweaters.

Guiness Beef Stew

My Guinness Beef Stew is best cooked the day ahead so that you can remove the solid fats that come to the top.  This also allows the stew to develop greater flavor.  It incorporates Guinness Stout, Beef broth, carrots, celery, onions and the beef.  Cooked slowly the meat becomes very tender.  I usually serve this with mashed potatoes garnished with buttered breadcrumbs.

Guiness Beef Stew

Instead of Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, you may want to try this Guinness Beef Stew.  Guinness is an Irish Stout developed by Arthur Guinness in his St. James Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.

We will be heading back to North Carolina over the weekend.  It has been a relaxing 6 weeks in New Smyrna Beach Florida.  We have enjoyed it so much that we will be returning next year.  Finding short term rental properties is challenging in this popular community.  We were lucky to find this charming Spanish styled bungalow for our next visit.  The owners are a delightful couple and we feel honored that they are willing to allow us to rent their vacation home.

NSB Rental Home

 

GUINNESS BEEF STEW

2 1/2 to 3 lbs chuck roast, cut into large cubes
3 Tbls olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 large carrots, cut into large rounds
2 to 3 Tbls flour
1 16 oz can Guinness Stout
1 14.5 oz.can beef broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

Dry and salt and pepper the beef cubes.  Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven.  Brown the beef in batches until nicely browned.  Remove beef to plate.  Add the vegetables to the pot and cook over medium heat until softened.  Add the flour and cook for a few minutes.  Return the beef to the pot and pour in the Guinness Stout and the beef broth.  Add the flavorings and bring pot to a boil.  Cover with lid and place in a preheated 325 degree oven.

Braise the stew for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  It can be served at this point, but it is better to let cool and then place in the refrigerator over night.  Remove the solid fats that have accumulated on the top.  Put the stew back into a preheated 325 degree oven and cook until heated through.  Serve with mashed potatoes or Colcannon.

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Shrimp Bowls

March 12th, 2017

Shrimp Bowl

We picked up some fresh shrimp at the Farmers’ Market last week.  It was expensive.  I decided to use the shrimp sparingly over several meals. By combining it with rice and beans we hardly missed the quantity of shrimp with the quality of the overall dish.  This made a perfect luncheon meal.

Shrimp Bowl

The white bean mixture includes canned diced tomatoes and jarred pesto; easy to pull together.  I used left- over Caribbean rice, but you could use any type of rice that you would like.

Riverside Grill

I know it has been a while since I have published a blog post, but I have been spending very little time in the kitchen. There are so many great restaurants in New Smyrna Beach that we have been eating out quite often.  The above picture was taken with our friends Mark and Ruth at Riverside Grill on the Indian River (IntraCoastal Waterway). Most of the boats going under the drawbridge were headed South.  Winter doesn’t want to give up and it is going to be much colder even here next week; just in time for bike week.

I’m hoping to post a recipe for my Guinness Beef Stew in honor of St. Paddy’s Day soon.  I am making it for friends next week.

In the meantime, hope you enjoy this easy Shrimp Bowl recipe.

SHRIMP BOWLS

3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
1/4 cup jarred pesto sauce
8 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cooked rice of your choice

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until shallot is softened.  Add tomatoes with their juices and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, add beans and the pesto sauce.  Cook until heated through.  Remove bean mixture to a bowl.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Add shrimp and cook, stirring often until shrimp os cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Add cooked rice to 2 bowls, top with bean mixture and place cooked shrimp over all.  Serves 2.

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Florida Events

March 2nd, 2017

NSB Dinner

We have been very busy in our rental house in New Smyrna Beach.  As it turns out, we have had lots of get togethers with friends and family.  High School friends were here at the same time that we were.  We hosted a dinner for ten before we all headed to town (within walking distance) for music and dancing.  It felt like being in high school again accept for my aching back the next morning.  I planned a very simple dinner for the crowd.  Everything can be done ahead of time, except the rice.  We had my friend Barbara’s Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole, two do ahead salads; Corn, celery and roasted red pepper salad and 3 bean salad, Zatarain’s Caribbean Rice mix, and Ina Garten’s Chocolate Chunk Blondies.

NSB Peanuts

Flagler Avenue is a happening place with numerous restaurants and music venues.

Pizza, vegie and sausage

On another occasion we drove to Sanford to have dinner with David’s Finnish relatives.  It is a long story, but in brief, David’s Mother grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Her parents had immigrated there from Finland.  David had very little contact with the extended family until a few years ago when our friend Ruth brought him together with his cousin Don.  The family now spend time in Florida.  It means a lot to David to have this connection.

We were treated to delicious pizzas cooked on the grill by grill master Jon.  The above pizza has sausage, bacon and roasted vegies.

Pizza, Barbecued ChickenThis is Jon’s speciality pizza.  It is a Barbecued Chicken Pizza with red onions, goat cheese and cilantro. It was fun watching him maneuver the pizzas around with his giant pizza peel.

Finnish FamilyWe enjoyed our evening spending time with wonderful family and friends.

Bread Board 2

 

On another matter, I am happy to say that my friend Penny, of the blog Enjoying the Simple Things, has started an Etsy Shop selling her Artisan made European French Style Bread Boards.  She and her husband are making these beautiful boards and the workmanship and quality are outstanding.  They also sell for a lot less than others I have seen online.  Here is the link to her Etsy Shop.

Also there are links above for the rice and Chocolate Chunk Blondies.  Here is the recipe for the Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole.

BARBARA’S CHICKEN POPPY SEED CASSEROLE

6 Chicken Breasts – Cooked and Cubed
8 oz. Crushed Ritz Crackers
1 1/2 sticks Butter
1 1/2 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
8 oz. Sour Cream

Melt butter and mix with crackers and poppy seeds.  In another bowl, mix soup and sour cream.  Add chicken to this.

Line greased 9×13 inch dish with 1/2 of the cracker mixture.  Pour chicken mixture over and top with remaining crackers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

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Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice

February 12th, 2017

Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice

We are now officially Florida residents for the next 6 weeks.  The rental house is small, but the kitchen is updated and very functional.

NSB Kitchen

I am always seeking out new recipes.  From a stack of magazines in the cottage, I found this recipe for Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice in an issue of Real Simple.  When I travel to rental houses, I prefer to bring herbs and spices. The basket you see next to the refrigerator holds all of my favorites from home. These Middle Eastern ground chicken patties call for cumin and cinnamon; a great flavor combination.

Chicken Kofta with Pomagranate Rice

The chicken is served with yellow rice with pomegranate seeds, cooling cucumber slices and a lemon infused yogurt sauce.  We enjoyed this on the backyard patio.  The ocean is just two blocks away.

NSB 1

We love this small beach community.

CHICKEN KOFTA WITH POMEGRANATE RICE ( Real Simple Magazine )

2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb. ground chicken
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 cups cooked yellow rice
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup sliced English cucumbers

Stir together the yogurt and salt.  Combine the chicken, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture in a medium bow.  Shape into 8 (3-inch long) oval patties.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium.  Cook the patties, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Stir the water and lemon juice into the remaining yogurt mixture.  Toss together the rice and pomegranate seeds.  Sere the patties with rice; top with the yogurt sauce and cucumber.

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Taiwanese Beef Soup: From Sumos to Oxtails

February 4th, 2017

Taiwanese Beef Soup

Before I get to this delightful soup recipe, I have to share some fun I had last week.  I have a dear friend who has moved just over the mountain from me.  Barbara has built a lovely home on acreage with a barn.  She raises goats for their wool and milk.  She prefers a vegetarian diet.  The two of us went to Whole Foods together on a shopping outing.  It is obvious what each of us bought.

Sumos

 

 

Oxtails
Sumo oranges are in season right now.  They are a cross between mandarin oranges and navel oranges.  Barb bought these.  Because I was making the beef soup, I needed both beef shanks with marrow bone and oxtail.  I asked the butcher for oxtail and he went into the walk-in refrigerator and brought out a whole cow’s tail and flashed it about.  “Do you want me to cut this up for you?” he said. The look of horror on Barb’s face was priceless.  He cut it up and we left the store giggling at our incongruent tastes. Barb said, “If you invite me to dinner I would prefer quiche and a salad.”

Taiwanese Vegetable Soup

The heady combination of beef with bones and marrow, plus soy sauce, chilies, star anise and ginger makes for a rich broth and tender meat that cooks slowly for hours.  A meat lover’s delight.  Ladle the soup into bowls and add cooked Chinese noodles and broccolini.  Adjust the amount of chilies to your taste.  I used 2 Thai chilies in the soup and garnished it with slices of Habanero chilies.  I will omit the too hot Habaneros next time, even though they looked pretty.  This was slightly adapted from Hélène Dujardin on her blog Tartelette.  It is best to make this a day ahead of time so you can skim the fat from the top after refrigerating.

TAIWANESE BEEF SOUP

Make this ahead of time so you can refrigerate and remove the fat before reheating

3 pounds bone-in beef shanks with marrow bones still on
1 pound beef oxtails
3 tablespoons canola oil
10 garlic cloves, bruised
one 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices,
5 scallions, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 star anise
1 teaspoons peppercorns
2 Thai chili, split lengthwise
1/4 cup roasted red chili paste
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
8 tablespoons light soy sauce
10 cups water
1 pound broccolini, stems halved
1/2 pound Udon noodles
cilantro
extra freshly sliced Habanero red chili (optional)

In a large stock pot, heat half the oil over high heat. Sear half of the beef shanks and oxtails on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and repeat with the remaining oil and beef pieces.
Add  all the remaining soup ingredients, except the broccolini, noodles and cilantro.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low, cover with the lid askew and cook for about 3 hours or until the beef is tender and falls off the bone.
Turn off the heat, and remove the beef pieces with a slotted spoon. Let the beef cool then shred it off the bones. Discard the bones. Strain the soup into another pot and put the meat into that pot. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim the fat that has risen to the top then reheat the soup on low heat.
In the meantime, blanch the broccolini in boiling water for about a minute. Set aside. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Divide the noodles and broccolini among 6 bowls, ladle soup over noodles and garnish with cilantro and extra chili if desired.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.